Date of Conferral







Elisabeth Weinbaum


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex biological disorder that encompasses a wide range of symptoms and varies in degree of severity. Parents and caregivers rely on programs offered by school districts that encourage parental participation in the educational process and have differing views on inclusion in educational decisions. The purpose of the current study was to ascertain the views of parents of children with ASD regarding their inclusion in the educational process. The research question addressed the lived experiences and perceptions of parents of students with and ASD regarding their inclusion in the educational process. A case study methodology was utilized, with data sources consisting of interviews and case files. Participants were parents of children diagnosed with ASD receiving special educations services. These 9 participants volunteered from a list of eligible parents. Data were analyzed using hand coding. The results indicated overall satisfaction with children’s inclusion. However, the parents in the study expressed concerns about multiple barriers to their inclusion. Recommendations include stability of support staff and training in symbolic interactionism theory. This study contributes to social change by providing information that parents can use to become more involved in the educational decision-making process. Insights on parents’ perceptions may also inform school district leaders on how to include parents in the educational process. Greater involvement by parents, staff, and agencies may assist students with ASD to become better prepared for life and ensure that they have received the best possible services throughout their educational years leading to positive social change.