Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

W. Jeff Wallis, Ed.D.

Second Supervisor

William Rolon, Ed.D.


The purpose of this qualitative, semi-structured interview, phenomenological study was to investigate the perceptions of collaboration between a total of 10 special education teachers and parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the elementary setting. This study’s data was collected from five special education teachers and five parents of children diagnosed with ASD. Results from this study revealed that both groups viewed communication as important to facilitating collaboration. When thinking of barriers to collaboration, both groups viewed the lack of experience or training geared toward collaboration relating to students with ASD, whether teachers or parents, as a hindrance to building collaborative relationships. Based on the findings, and to help bridge the gap in perceptions between special education teachers and parents of students diagnosed with ASD in the elementary setting, The study recommended that educators create opportunities for communication to exist as well as provide additional supports to families of children diagnosed with autism. More importantly, creating training for both parents and teachers to be able to work together effectively was seen as equally important to both participant groups. In addition, the study recommends that school districts create events specifically for parents of students with autism, implement professional development that gives educators research-based strategies to foster collaboration with families in a public school setting.

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