Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-2021


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with social challenges as the key diagnostic feature. Recreation Therapy (RT) is a promising and useful school-based treatment intervention service to assist in supporting the educational needs of students with ASD. This three-article dissertation examines both the foundational knowledge and practice of school-based RT. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) gives foundational understanding by outlining school-based RT services in this legislation. Two articles in this dissertation focus on the practice of RT to address the social needs of students with ASD by targeting improvements in social engagement, social communication, and reducing the barriers to successful social interactions in a school-based setting. This collection of articles, taken together, adds to the body of research evidence to advance the understanding and practice of school-based RT as a holistic, strength-based, treatment intervention service for improving the social functioning of students with ASD.


Recreational Therapy, Autism, School-based, Treatment Interventions, Education

Document Type




Degree Name

Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Trenia L. Walker

Second Committee Member

Aeron Haynie

Third Committee Member

Joan Wilson

Fourth Committee Member

Jan Armstrong

Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2025