Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

McAllister, Carolyn



The focus of this research proposal is to assess the readiness of social work graduate students to work with Autistic individuals. The study was conducted in partnership with an undisclosed Southern California university. The study was conducted from a positivist perspective and used the social model of disability theory as a theoretical orientation. Researchers surveyed 64 MSW students utilizing a Qualtrics survey, specifically designed for this study. The results in this study indicate that most of the social work students who participated in this study possess a satisfactory understanding and knowledge of ASD. Although the results showed that over 75% of participants have not received any type of ASD training, most participants reported feeling moderately capable and moderately effective in working with ASD individuals. The results showed that regardless of exposure to ASD training, MSW students feel capable of using the skills learned in their MSW program to help and support ASD individuals. This study can provide insight to MSW students on their skills and capabilities to work with Autistic individuals. Additionally, researchers suggest implications in areas such as the social work field, research, policy, education, and workplace that can potentially benefit the professional development of graduate MSW students to be better equipped to work with ASD individuals and other minority groups facing systemic oppression.

Included in

Social Work Commons