The Perceived Impacts of Access to the Least Restrictive Academic Environment for Academic and Career Goal Attainment for Students with High-functioning Autism in the Commonwealth of Virginia




Harris, Laura

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This study uses an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design to explore, through parental report, access to the least restrictive environment (LRE) for high school students with high-functioning autism (HFA), how LRE affects academic and career goal attainment, and how students with HFA are experiencing the LRE provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Data were collected via an online questionnaire completed by 31 parents and follow-up interviews conducted with 11 parents. Descriptive statistics and nonparametric correlational statistical analysis of the responses on the questionnaire, thematic analysis of qualitative data from open-ended questions on the questionnaire and interviews, as well as document analysis were conducted.



Education, Special education, Education policy, Academic goals, Career goals, High-functioning autism, High school, IDEA, Least restrictive environment