Knowledge Among Pre-Service Special Education Teachers in North Malaysia Regarding the Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Children


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prevalence to be 1 in 59 individuals (CDC, 2018). With the increase in diagnosis of ASD comes the awareness of the unique needs of individuals with an ASD. Yet colleges of education rarely have an Autism specialization within their special education teacher preparation programs. Even though many students with ASD are served in the general education environment (Malaysia Special Education Division, 2019), few general education teachers receive any training for evidence-based practices for students with ASD. To better understand the current state of knowledge of ASD among special education teachers in training in North Malaysia, we surveyed knowledge and attitudes of special education teachers in training in north Malaysia regarding the disorder. 54 of 3rd year special education teachers in training in a teachers training institute in north Malaysia completed questionnaires assessing participant demographics, knowledge of typical child development and knowledge of ASD. Overall, the level of knowledge of ASD was moderate for the respondents in this research based on knowledge test and self evaluation. Inferential statistik showed demographic factors i.e. gender, level of education, school location and etc did not affects the knowledge about ASD. Majority of the respondents raised the needs of special training involving teaching strategy for ASD students.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Teacher Training Institute; Pre-Service Teacher; Special Education Teacher


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