A national sample of preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders: special education services and parent satisfaction

J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Sep;38(8):1509-17. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0531-9. Epub 2008 Jan 29.

Abstract

The Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS) examines the preschool and early elementary school experiences of a nationally representative sample of 3,104 children ages 3-5 with disabilities from 2004 through 2009. This paper describes the special education and related services received by a subsample of 186 preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in 2003-2004 and parental satisfaction with those services. Past research and patterns of litigation suggest that parents of children with ASD are not wholly satisfied with the special education and related services their children receive. In the current study, the authors found many similarities between children with ASD and children with other disabilities in the type of services received under IDEA and in parent satisfaction with these services. Still, some significant differences emerged in the number of services received, the amount of time children with ASD spent in special education settings, and parent satisfaction with the amount of time children spent with typically developing peers. Implications about the importance of parent satisfaction and social validity measures are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Early Intervention, Educational*
  • Education, Special*
  • Eligibility Determination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*