School Social Work and Autism Competency: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of Pennsylvania School Social Workers
Date of Award
D.S.W. Social work
Mary Rita Weller
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which currently affects 1 in 44 individuals in the United States. Autism manifests as symptoms that impact the areas of communication, social interaction, and behavior (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Symptoms may create challenges in the school setting, requiring social work intervention. School social workers must be knowledgeable about autism as well as how to best support autistic students. A mixed methods study was conducted among 84 school social workers in Pennsylvania to understand current autism knowledge via an online survey. Ways in which social workers have learned about autism, as well as what they need to support autistic students was explored through responses to qualitative items on the survey. Scores on the 10 point abbreviated ASDKP-R ranged from 20% to 100% (M=62.7, SD=15.7). While a below average score was revealed, most participants (n=63) indicated that they would like to increase their knowledge and skills regarding autism related topics.
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Imhof, Jami, "School Social Work and Autism Competency: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of Pennsylvania School Social Workers" (2023). Social Work Doctoral Dissertations. 27.