Terry WrightFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kathie Morgan


Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, Certification, Early Childhood, Gifted, Twice-Exceptional


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Gifted Education


Twice-exceptional students (Gifted with Asperger’s Syndrome) can be difficult for even the experienced teacher. Robust knowledge of Asperger’s Syndrome and Giftedness prepares teachers to meet the needs of these often-unidentified students. The purpose of this cross sectional survey design research was to study how post-graduate certifications held (dependent variable) affected early childhood teacher knowledge (independent variable) of Asperger’s Syndrome and Gifted/talented learner characteristics. From two large suburban school districts and small, private schools in Central Texas, 242 early childhood teachers (pre-k-second grade) participated in three online researcher created instruments entitled Teacher Knowledge of Asperger Characteristics, Teacher Knowledge of Gifted and Talented Characteristics, and a demographic survey. Using information from the survey, the researcher sorted teachers into convenience groups: Texas Generalist only, Texas Gifted/talented certification, and Texas Special Education certification. Using a Welch one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance), a positive and significant difference was determined between post-graduate certifications held and the early childhood teachers’ knowledge of Asperger’s Syndrome and Gifted/talented existing in the Twice-exceptional learner. Additional research is needed to examine what type and amount of training will equip early childhood teachers in inclusion classrooms with the knowledge to identify and meet the needs of Twice-exceptional students.