School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Frank Bailey


case study, autism spectrum disorder, general education teachers, inclusive education, high school


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this case study was to understand the perspectives and experiences of general education teachers who teach high school students with autism spectrum disorder in inclusive education with respect to challenges teachers face, strategies and interventions they use to manage the classroom, and relationships they build to create an environment where students with autism spectrum disorder can learn and grow. Participants were identified via purposeful criterion sampling procedures, based on general education teachers in inclusive education. The setting for this study was an inclusive classroom in a public senior high school in North Carolina, referred to herein as Johnathon Brandon High School. Premack and Woodruff’s theory of mind was used to guide this study and provide a clear understanding of the inability of youth with autism spectrum disorder to decipher facial expressions and body language, the pitch or tone of a person’s voice, and the deeper meaning in conversations. The central research question focused on general education high school teachers’ descriptions of the ways inclusive education impacted high school students with autism spectrum disorder. The sub-questions for this study focused on the challenges, strategies and intervention techniques, and general education teachers’ efforts establishing a community based on collaboration. Data were collected and analyzed from an online survey, semi-structured interviews of 12 participants, and focus group discussion. Results revealed that participants desired more training to have a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder and the inclusive environment. Additionally, participants resolved that collaborative relationships established in inclusive education will help create an environment where students with autism spectrum disorder can learn and grow.