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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

MS Human Genetics


Human Genetics Graduate Program


Clinically, genetic testing is recommended for all children who have been diagnosed with autism. However, genetic testing is no longer being used solely as a medical tool and social uses of this are being introduced, such as in educational settings. But using this information to determine who is eligible for educational services introduces a litany of ethical, legal and social issues. We recruited 400 parents to complete an online survey to gauge their opinions on using genetic information to determine special education eligibility and other school services for children with autism. Overall, the 77.3% of parents were in support of special education services for a child with autism symptoms, even before genetic information was revealed. In most cases, neither genetic test results nor family history of autism influenced parents’ opinions on this topic. The results suggest that parents overwhelming support services for children on the basis of symptoms alone and do not support introducing this type of testing into eligibility decisions.