The purpose of this study was to (1) investigate the impact of a clinical experience with adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on graduate speech-language pathology (SLP) students’ knowledge about ASD, and (2) explore the nature of the clinical experience and its impact on students’ preparation to work with adults with ASD. This study used a mixed-methods design. Quantitative methods were used to identify statistically significant changes in student knowledge about ASD following participation in a clinical experience with adults with ASD. Qualitative methods were used to explore student narratives to uncover details of the clinical experience and its impact. Participants (n=17) were first year SLP master’s students. Results indicate significantly increased knowledge about ASD following participation in the clinical experience with adults with ASD. Coding of themes from student narratives revealed details about key aspects of the experience and its impact. Results point to the positive impact of an immersive, group-based clinical education experience with adults with ASD. Results may guide efforts to create programs to prepare clinicians to serve the growing population of adults with ASD. Next steps include comparison of similar clinical experiences, as well as longitudinal tracking of student outcomes.
Wilson, Kaitlyn P. Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Chasson, Gregory S. Ph.D.; Jozkowski, Amanda C. Ph.D., OTR/L; and Mulhern, Meghan V. Ed.M.
"Impact of a Pre-Professional Clinical Education Experience with Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Preparation of Future Speech-Language Pathologists,"
Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders: Vol. 1:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://ir.library.illinoisstate.edu/tlcsd/vol1/iss2/5