Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Grace Telesco

Committee Member

Brenda Deans

Committee Member

Steven Hecht


attitudes, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), knowledge, perceptions


This study offered a preliminary look at the evidence to support the benefits of training South Georgia Police Officers on the phenomenon that is autism. Research suggested that there was limited experimental data available regarding why persons with ASD entered the criminal justice system, as well as how to manage them once they are there (Chovanec, 2013). Various regions of the United States embraced the importance of ASD training amongst their law enforcement officers; however, Georgia has only recently taken steps to do the same by the inclusion of a voluntary, online course regarding autism and de-escalation. Participants shared their knowledge and attitudes of ASD and police training in hopes of contributing to the future of the phenomenon.