Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Nancy Williams


Families and educators have voiced concerns about the literacy skills of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the situation. Pandemic era studies have demonstrated the ramifications that students with ASD have faced, including regression of literacy skills, lower grades, lack of support services, and subpar instruction. Teachers' perceptions remained unexamined in the pandemic era studies. The purpose of this basic qualitative dissertation was to examine teachers’ perceptions about the materials and strategies used to deliver literacy instruction during the pandemic for students with ASD. The conceptual frameworks that underpinned this study were self-determination theory to help understand educational settings and critical multimodal literacy expounding that literacy was not defined only as conventional reading and writing but included drawings, photographs, and role-playing to gain a deep understanding and display learning. Teachers from urban, rural, and suburban areas who instructed children with ASD in Grades K to 5 were invited to participate in semistructured virtual interviews. The findings after completing descriptive and pattern coding showed that the 12 participants perceived the level of support from students’ families as an important element of online learning. Some evidence-based practices from the prepandemic era were challenging in an online forum while others were seen as beneficial. Future studies should be done on a larger scale to provide quantitative data. This study may help optimize the use of educational technology during future school closures and add to the existing body of research to improve literacy instruction for students with ASD.