Training and knowledge in autism among speech-language pathologists: A survey

Heatherann Schwartz, Kathryn D R Drager

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Purpose: The current study was designed to answer the following questions: (a) What knowledge do school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have concerning autism? (b) What educational and clinical training do SLPs receive in autism? (c) Do SLPs have confidence in their ability to provide services to children with autism and their families? Method: An original 52-item survey was designed to answer the research questions. Participants were recruited through e-mail and were asked to respond to a Web-based survey. Results: Sixty-seven school-based SLPs practicing in 33 states across the United States responded to the survey. Most participants had accurate knowledge about the characteristics of children with autism; however, they had mixed perceptions of diagnostic criteria for autism. Although most participants did address autism at some level of their educational training, little time was spent discussing the topic. Additionally, some SLPs lack confidence in their abilities to provide services to children with autism. Conclusion: The return rate for participants was small, and it is difficult to generalize the results. However, the majority of respondents reported that they could have benefited from additional training in the area of autism. As a result, it may be necessary to consider strategies for providing this training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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