This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions about Bullying of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Survey of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists




Ofe, Erin

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Communication Disorders


The purpose of the current investigation was to examine speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) knowledge and perceptions of bullying, with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A 46-item, web-based, nationally-distributed survey was used. Seventy school-based SLPs completed the survey. Results indicated that the majority of respondents considered bullying to be a problem in their schools. Participants demonstrated knowledge of many aspects of bullying research; however, demonstrated weaknesses in others. All respondents agreed that SLPs should intervene in moments of bullying, but not all indicated that they feel comfortable intervening. Only 20% of participants indicated that their school district implemented anti-bullying campaigns specific to children with special needs, such as ASD. As recognized experts in working with children with communication deficits, including individuals with ASD, SLPs have the opportunity to be proactive in bullying situations by creating safe environments, consulting with teachers and school personnel, and utilizing recommended response strategies to intervene.