This study was designed to identify what pre-service teacher candidates knew about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how they had acquired that knowledge in order to design more effective preparation courses. Teacher candidates (N=87) from three teacher preparation programs completed questionnaires during, or prior to, their first special education course. The findings indicate a relationship between sources of knowledge about ASD and actual levels of knowledge. Based on the findings, the authors argue that there is a need for coursework that focuses on effective intervention strategies and utilizes direct opportunities for teacher candidates to work with students with ASD.



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