These are some charts on the data I collected on my general education classroom teachers' attitudes toward mainstreaming students with autism into their general education classrooms.
In summary, I was NOT surprised with our teachers' attitudes, but it was interesting to see their feelings "in black and white." Overall, I feel that our teachers are not prepared professionally to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD.) I do not think that this is their fault, I just feel we have been inadequately educated on the best ways to make accommodations (both academic and behavior) for these students. How is your faculty educated/trained on issues such as this? Do you feel prepared as a classroom teacher?
It was also interesting to see that all teachers who took the survey felt that general education students take on a mentoring role toward the child with autism. While this says a lot about our general education students and their character, I can't help but feel like this is not their place to do this. I say that as empathetically as possible. I said in another post that in no way do I feel that students with special needs shouldn't have the opportunity to be in a classroom with their peers. But, again, my concerns for the purpose of this project are to uncover (if any) negative effects of mainstreaming students with autism into the general education classroom for general education students. What are your thoughts? If you presented this same survey to your faculty, how do you think they would respond? I would be interested to hear from school to school how opinions differ (or if they do differ!) Let me know!