Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Education (Graduate)


This criterion-based study was conducted on research of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, the different severity levels now included in the DSM5, and evidence-based accommodations that allow students with autism to have a successful educational experience, in order to create Parent Guidelines: Informed Conversations at the IEP Table. The guide provides descriptions and examples of the criteria used to make an ASD diagnosis and the different severity levels. The accommodations found were categorized into four areas that address common deficits for students with autism: behavior, social-communication, academic, and sensory. The information was gathered and presented in a guide for parents of children with autism. The guide informs parents how to use and interpret the language established within a spectrum diagnosis and to articulate best practices regarding accommodations that have been proven to increase the possibility of behavioral, social, and academic success for their child. The parent guide could be used to give parents a sense of where their child is on the spectrum. In addition, the parents can use the description and examples of the three levels of severity, to properly target the areas of deficit when deciding on accommodations. As parents determine what deficits might become a barrier for their child's educational experience, the guide will provide accommodations to overcome those areas. Having this knowledge will give parents the tools so that they can make the best decisions for their child, allowing them to play an integral role in their child's education during Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings.