Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


This research was completed with the goal of contributing to the discussion of unstructured time in the school day. Specifically, it looked at the question; what are the benefits of unstructured time for students with special education needs? A literature review was completed, where data from different studies across the US and similar countries (Canada, UK) was compared for similarities and discrepancies. Additionally, the search was narrowed to students receiving special education services under the categories of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Other Health Disabilities (OHD). Based on the data compiled, it was concluded that for students with these needs, unstructured time presents benefits across developmental categories. Specifically, these students grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively when they are given this time during the school day. Additionally, the data supported the assertion that without this time students can potentially experience some negative consequences, as their needs are not being fully met in the structured portions of their day.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis