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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Michael Elium

First Committee Member

Tracy Catalde

Second Committee Member

Anthony Serna


This qualitative multiple case study addresses kindergarten teachers’ and transitional kindergarten teachers’ self-perceived abilities to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who participate in early intervention behavior therapy (EIBT) programs. Systems thinking was used to examine the participants’ interactions with the school site-based and EIBT-based support systems within which they were expected to operate. Personal interviews conducted at three intervals during the first five months of the 2015-16 school year rendered three emergent themes: participants initially reported feeling more confident meeting the academic versus the social/behavioral needs of their EIBT students, but that position reversed for two participants during the course of the study; participants reported in-class support aides provided by EIBT agencies were superior to aides provided by their school districts, and; participants preferred having a single ‘go-to’ support person at their school site to having a robust, wide-ranging support system. Contains recommendations for establishing subsystems that foster inner- and intra-support system communication and raising ASD awareness.





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