Supporting Teachers When Working With Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Classroom

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Trask, Maggie
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Mount Saint Vincent University
ASD symptomology can make aspects of the general inclusive classroom challenging for students with the disorder, and classroom teachers report lacking the knowledge and the skills necessary to provide adequate instruction to their students with ASD. The Accessible Strategies Supporting Inclusion for Students by Teacher (ASSIST) program introduces evidence-based strategies for teachers of students with neurodevelopmental disorders in an adaptable, feasible, accessible, and manageable way. This study explores the implementation, effectiveness, and satisfaction of the ASSIST for ASD module using the RE-AIM framework while considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: Data was collected from Canadian classroom teachers using a mixed methods approach. Results: After completing the program, teachers reported using many of the ASSIST strategies semi-regularly and continued to do so 6-months post-intervention. There was no indication of clinical effectiveness and teachers were overall satisfied with the program. However, results were likely impacted by the COVID19 pandemic as engagement was an issue. Clinical implications and future directions were discussed.