Thesis Title

A Descriptive Study of Parents' Perceptions of Services For Their Autistic Child


Michelle Rush

Date of Graduation

Fall 2005


Master of Science in Education in Elementary Education


Childhood Education and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Cynthia Wilson


The purpose of this investigation was to discover parents’ current feelings regarding their autistic children’s educators and services provided by their schools. This study also examined parents’ perceptions of early intervention services and whether or not they had an impact on the child’s academic success and abilities. A survey was mailed to 100 families who had autistic children and received services through the Regional Center, NOVA, DCO, IMPACT, Family Bridges, and two autism support groups in Southwest Missouri. The survey consisted of 13 factors that described educational services, 11 questions that rated school services and staff, and four open response questions. The return rate for this study was 17%. The results of this study indicated that parents in the Southwest Missouri area were only accessing five of the listed intervention services, which were summer programs, parent training, behavioral therapists, early pre-school screening, and preschool in specialized environments. Over 80% of the parents surveyed agreed they got along well with their child’s teachers and felt they could discuss their child’s needs with them. On the other hand, 42% of parents reported they did not feel administrators were helpful and responsive. Above 70% of parents felt their child was benefiting from services overall, and their academic ability was improving.


autism, early intervention, special education, support services, academic success

Subject Categories

Elementary Education and Teaching


© Michelle Rush