Perceptions of Teachers and Parents on the Educational Experiences of Students with Autism in a Remote Rural Community

Amy Price Azano, Mary Elizabeth Tackett


While there is a steady increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), relatively little is known about the unique experiences of students with ASD in rural communities. This study investigates how the rural context influences the educational experiences of students with ASD. The researchers used an online questionnaire and in-person interviews of special education teachers, general education teachers, and parents to collect their perceptions of the unique experiences for students with ASD living in a remote rural community of Appalachia. Data generation and analysis led to the discussion of three salient themes: limited parental knowledge, lack of resources and need for professional development, and low socioeconomic status and family or community structures. The authors discuss how these findings manifest in rural communities and make suggestions for further research and professional development.


rural; autism, Appalachia, agency, professional development


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