Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Department or Program

Political Science


Stewart, LaShonda


With the growing number of children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention must be paid to the educational instruction and educational setting these children are being provided. By looking at the special education certification requirements in addition to the general education requirements, it will help to show where public policies are falling short when educating this population of students. This paper attempts to answer these questions: Are there specific certification requirements in Illinois for special education teachers to teach students who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD)? If so, are these requirements being implemented in the classroom? If there aren’t specific requirements should some be established? To answer this question, survey results from special education teachers are analyzed. The findings suggest that four out of eight special education teachers did not have to complete any additional requirements in order to educate children with ASD. The survey results also concluded that 7 out of 8 of the teachers were not given a curriculum guideline that includes specific educational practices for students with ASD. Finally, over half of the teachers who responded to the survey felt that there should be more public policies implemented that deal directly with educating children with ASD.