Education K-12 M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


Students with autism require unique programming to increase engagement in the classroom setting. This literature review is a collection of research-based studies involving animal assisted interventions, music therapy, art therapy, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The results of these studies suggest that when provided the therapeutic interventions listed above, students with autism increase engagement in the classroom due to the expansion of language and social communication skills and the decrease of maladaptive behaviors. Given purposeful and collaborative therapeutic interventions, students learn how to problem solve, collaborate, and communicate with adults and peers. Sensory processing challenges are addressed and environmental stimuli are better tolerated. Educators should collaborate with parents and therapists to provide a well-rounded educational program that enables students to their full potential in the classroom. Meaningful learning occurs when basic needs are met and students are able to focus and communicate effectively in the classroom.

Degree Name

Education K-12 M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis