Study Guide

Field 064: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Objective 002
Understand characteristics of autism spectrum disorder.

1. Germaine is a 10-year-old fifth grader who was referred to the multidisciplinary evaluation team (MET) for a comprehen­sive evaluation. Which of the following characteristics must Germaine exhibit in order for the MET to make a recom­mendation of eligibility due to autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

  1. reading and/or writing performance at least two years below grade level
  2. preexisting emotional impairments
  3. qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interactions
  4. below-average cognitive abilities
Correct Response: C.

Objective 003
Understand the effects of autism spectrum disorder on human development, learning, and transition to postsecondary/adult life roles.

2. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) most typically affects a student's overall cognitive development as demonstrated by:

  1. delays in acquiring self-help skills.
  2. inconsistencies in language acquisition and development.
  3. delays in developing sensory awareness.
  4. weaknesses in quantitative reasoning.
Correct Response: B.

Objective 004
Understand factors that affect development and learning in students with autism spectrum disorder.

3. Beth is a 12-year-old student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who is beginning her first year at a middle school. She performs in the average to above-average range academically, has strong verbal skills, and is motivated to learn and succeed in school. Beth is placed in general education classes with support for social skills (e.g., interpre­tation of nonverbal communica­tion) and transitions (e.g., between tasks and classes). Despite these supports, Beth has responded to the transition to middle school with signifi­cantly heightened anxiety. Which of the following best describes how Beth's anxiety is likely to affect her functioning?

  1. She may experience a significant decline in her academic and social skills.
  2. Her ability to understand reality may be compromised.
  3. She may demonstrate a significant increase in aggressive behaviors.
  4. Her ability to follow school rules may be compromised.
Correct Response: A.


Objective 005
Understand types and characteristics of various assessment instruments and methods.

4. Chung is a fourth grader with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who is placed in a general education classroom. He is verbal and has average cognitive abilities. His Individualized Education Program (IEP) includes several instructional modifications and accommodations in reading and writing. Chung's fourth-grade teacher asks the teacher of students with ASD about formative assessment methods to use with Chung to measure whether he is making academic progress during the school year. Which of the following assessment methods would be most appropriate for the teacher of students with ASD to suggest?

  1. informal reading inventories and a writing portfolio
  2. selected reading and writing subtests from an individual achievement test with accommodations
  3. classroom observations during reading and writing instruction
  4. norm-referenced aptitude tests in reading and writing with accommodations
Correct Response: A.

5. Ms. Ryan is a general education kindergarten teacher who brings concerns about one of her students, Hector, to the Child Study Team (CST). For example, Hector is often in a corner of the room by himself engaged in sorting blocks by color. Ms. Ryan has tried playing with Hector herself, coaxing him to play with a classmate, and switching him to another activity. Hector frequently responds to these efforts with temper tantrums (e.g., throwing blocks, covering his ears with his hands, running in circles). At this point, it would be most appropriate for the CST to take which of the following steps?

  1. administering a standardized assessment of Hector's cognitive abilities
  2. distributing checklists to be completed by Ms. Ryan and Hector's parents
  3. requesting that Ms. Ryan conduct an informal assessment of Hector's preacademic skills
  4. making observations of Hector in a variety of activities and school settings
Correct Response: D.

Objective 007
Understand procedures for interpreting and communicating assessment results to all stakeholders.

6. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

Peter, a seventh grader who is new to the school district, was diagnosed at the end of sixth grade with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Before the school year begins, the teacher of students with ASD reviews Peter's initial evaluation from sixth grade. An excerpt of the assessment results is shown below.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Fourth Edition (WISC–IV):

Percentile Rank
Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) 16
Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI) 95
Working Memory Index (WMI) 86
Processing Speed Index (PSI) 9
Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) 73

Wechsler Individual Achievement Test–Second Edition (WIAT–II):

Percentile Rank
Reading Composite 12
Mathematics Composite 93
Written Language Composite 16
Oral Language Composite 76
Total Composite 25

Which of the following statements is the best interpretation of Peter's strengths and needs?

  1. Peter demonstrates strength in abstract verbal reasoning and demonstrates need in expressing his knowledge orally.
  2. Peter demonstrates strength in written expression and demonstrates need in analyzing abstract information.
  3. Peter demonstrates strength in working accurately and quickly and demonstrates need in recalling information.
  4. Peter demonstrates strength in manipulating visual information and demonstrates need in using receptive language.
Correct Response: D.

Objective 008
Understand procedures for developing, implementing, and amending Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs), and transition plans for students with autism spectrum disorder.

7. In December of the school year, a student is evaluated and determined eligible for special education services. At the end of the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting, the team discusses the student's annual review. Which of the following guidelines should the IEP team use in selecting a date for the annual review?

  1. The annual review must occur whenever revisions are made to the student's IEP.
  2. The annual review must occur before the end of the current school year.
  3. The annual review must occur within a year of the student's initial placement.
  4. The annual review must occur in December of the following school year.
Correct Response: C.

Objective 009
Understand procedures for developing, implementing, and amending behavioral support plans for students with autism spectrum disorder.

8. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is meeting at the request of a fifth-grade teacher whose class includes Tommy, a student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Tommy's academic performance is in the average range. He uses speech to communicate, and his expressive vocabulary is age appropriate. However, the fifth-grade teacher reports that Tommy often becomes upset during independent work time and begins roam­ing anxiously around the classroom. When the teacher asks Tommy what is wrong, his anxiety seems to increase. The teacher says that when she is able to determine what is bothering him (e.g., he cannot find a book he needs or does not remember the next step in an assignment) and remedy the problem, he is able to calm down and get back to work. The team could best meet Tommy's needs by providing him with which of the following supports?

  1. offering him more choice in regard to his assignments
  2. moving his seating location to discourage his roaming behavior
  3. teaching him to initiate requests for assistance
  4. identifying consequences to apply if his behavior escalates
Correct Response: C.


Objective 011
Understand strategies for planning and managing age-appropriate learning environment(s) for students with autism spectrum disorder.

9. Karim is a first-grade student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). He attends a general education class full time with support from Ms. Jones, a teacher of students with ASD. Karim is verbal, but he will only interact with adults. He especially enjoys computer games and jigsaw puzzles. To facilitate Karim's participation in the learning centers in his classroom (e.g., writing, art, and math centers), Ms. Jones first teaches him how to use each center. Then, using a classroom computer, she develops a multimedia activity schedule that shows photos of each center and short videos of Karim in that center (e.g., painting a picture in the art center). A timer signals Karim to refer to the schedule and transition to the next center. This multi-media activity schedule is most likely to benefit Karim by:

  1. fostering his ability to maintain previously learned skills.
  2. enhancing his nonverbal commu­nication skills.
  3. promoting his independence in the classroom.
  4. facilitating his ability to work cooperatively with others.
Correct Response: C.

Objective 012
Understand principles and methods of curriculum adaptation and instructional planning for students with autism spectrum disorder.

10. Ten-year-old Katie is a student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who has below-average cognitive ability and limited verbal skills. Katie's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is meeting to plan her IEP for fifth grade. She will be attending a resource room for two hours each day and general education classes for the rest of the day. The team is discussing modifications for Katie in the general education classroom. For example, the fifth-grade teacher gives a weekly 20-word spelling test in which the teacher dictates the words. Katie is able to match, copy, and sequence letters. Which of the following modifications to the weekly spelling test would best allow Katie to demonstrate her knowledge?

  1. reducing the number of spelling words for Katie to 10 each week and having her take the test orally
  2. creating a fill-in-the-blank version of the test for Katie in which she fills in two or three missing letters for each word
  3. having Katie write each of the 20 spelling words in a sentence and excusing her from taking the test
  4. asking Katie to input the spelling words on a computer during the test and to use the spell-check feature to correct her work
Correct Response: B.

Objective 013
Understand principles and methods of individualizing instruction for students with autism spectrum disorder.

11. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

Diego is a fourth-grade student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). During reading class, his teacher provides him with a story map to fill out for each story that he reads. A sample of a story map is shown below.

Story Map

Title of Story: __________________________________________________


1. ______________________________

2. ______________________________

3. ______________________________

4. ______________________________

5. ______________________________


When: __________________________

Where: __________________________




1. _____________________________________________________

2. _____________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

4. ______________________________________________________

Solution to Problem:



Having Diego fill out a story map is an effective strategy for helping him:

  1. make inferences about the text.
  2. improve his reading fluency.
  3. stimulate prior knowledge.
  4. improve his comprehension.
Correct Response: D.

Objective 014
Understand strategies for promoting the language and communication skills of students with autism spectrum disorder.

12. Sonia is a 12-year-old student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a cognitive impairment. She attends a special program for students with ASD that is located in a middle school, and she receives services from a speech and language pathologist (SLP) and from an occupational therapist (OT). Sonia is nonverbal, but she will occasionally gesture or make vocalizations to communicate her wants and needs. She frequently engages in rocking and often hums to herself when not directly engaged in an activity with a staff member. Sonia enjoys listening to music, scribbling with crayons, and looking at pictures and books about birds and butterflies. Her current Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals include increasing her independence in dressing and toileting, increasing her frequency of communication, and recognizing colors and letters. Sonia's teacher of students with ASD and her SLP are collaborating to address Sonia's communication goal. Which of the following strategies should they try first to increase Sonia's frequency of communication in the classroom?

  1. creating an environment that provides reasons for Sonia to want to communicate (e.g., putting her crayons or music tapes out of reach, hanging up a bulletin board about birds)
  2. asking her questions about a wide variety of concrete topics or objects (e.g., "What's that over there?" "Did you like your ice cream?")
  3. teaching her to replace her gestures with single, spoken words to obtain the same objectives (e.g., crayon, book, juice)
  4. using directions to maintain ongoing communicative interactions with her (e.g., "Look at that bird! Oh, watch him fly away! I wonder what kind of bird that was.")
Correct Response: A.

Objective 016
Understand strategies for developing and implementing positive behavioral supports and interventions for students with autism spectrum disorder.

13. Eddie is a third grader with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who attends a special education class part time and a general education class part time. One of his behavioral goals addresses his tendency to spin around, often bumping into objects and other people, when not engaged in an activity. This behavior is especially problematic during unstructured activities (e.g., lunch, recess) and indepen­dent academic work time. Which of the following behavior support strategies would be the least intrusive in meeting Eddie's needs?

  1. arranging for Eddie to go to a safe place out of the classroom whenever he engages in the behavior
  2. providing visual prompts to Eddie prior to unstructured and indepen­dent activities
  3. providing Eddie with a light touch to his shoulder whenever he engages in the behavior
  4. assigning Eddie peer-to-peer supports during independent and unstructured activities
Correct Response: B.


Objective 021
Understand the historical, social, and legal foundations of education for students with autism spectrum disorder.

14. Which of the following best describes the primary contribution made by Leo Kanner to the field of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

  1. developing the first criterion-referenced checklist used to screen preschoolers for autism
  2. proposing for the first time a biological theory for the origin of autism
  3. developing the first educational intervention shown to be effective with children who have autism
  4. identifying and defining for the first time the major characteristics of autism
Correct Response: D.

Objective 022
Understand the professional, ethical, and legal roles and responsibilities involved in the education of students with autism spectrum disorder.

15. Max is a second grader with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who attends a general education class. The second-grade teacher has set up a carrel in the back of the room where Max works with a paraprofessional on activities designed to prepare him for daily inclusion with peers, as specified by his Individualized Education Program (IEP). However, Max spends almost all of his time in the carrel. Mr. Johnson, the teacher of students with ASD, has repeatedly spoken with the second-grade teacher about Max's lack of participation in whole-class and group activities. Mr. Johnson has also increased his own time in the classroom, facilitating Max's class involvement and demonstrat­ing ways to engage him productively with peers. After a number of weeks, however, the classroom teacher shows no signs of making an effort to integrate Max with his classmates. Which of the following describes Mr. Johnson's primary respon­sibility under these circumstances?

  1. rearranging his schedule to allow him to spend even more time with Max in the second-grade classroom
  2. calling a formal meeting of the IEP team to address the issue of the classroom teacher's noncompliance
  3. alerting Max's parents to the problem and advising them of the legal remedies available to them
  4. documenting his observations and alerting the building administrator
Correct Response: D.

16. Ms. McMahon is a new teacher of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who will be working in an elementary school located in a culturally diverse community. Before the school year begins, she spends time writing in a journal on topics such as those listed below.

  1. What traditions did my family have when I was growing up?
  2. Have I ever felt uncomfortable when visiting an unfamiliar community?
  3. What do I know about my students' backgrounds?

This journal-writing activity is likely to enhance Ms. McMahon's teaching ability most significantly by helping her:

  1. develop a better understanding of family systems.
  2. identify effective ways to advocate for her students.
  3. develop individualized reinforce­ment systems.
  4. identify her own cultural competence.
Correct Response: D.


Use the information below to answer the four questions that follow.

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is conducting an annual review for five-year-old Sam, a student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sam's team includes the teacher of students with ASD, the kindergarten teacher, Sam's parents, a speech and language pathologist (SLP), an occupational therapist (OT), and a physical therapist (PT). Sam is just finishing his kindergarten year. Sam does not use words to communicate with others, although his receptive verbal skills have always been good (e.g., he can follow his parents' instructions). If his parents tell him to do something he does not want to do, he frequently screams and has tantrums. Sam has limited coping skills, and unexpected events or changes in routine often provoke screaming and running.

Sam can be extremely strong willed, especially at home, but he is very loving with his parents and seeks them out for comfort. Sam will not speak to or make eye contact with anyone at school, so the teachers need to interpret his behaviors and eye gazes. He is willing to sit with his classmates at circle time, but he will not engage with them verbally or socially. If anyone accidentally bumps or touches him, he will often scream, cry, or run away. Over the course of the year, however, he has developed an affinity for a few classmates, and he will frequently play or sit near these children, even though he does not directly interact with them.

Sam does not like messy art media such as clay or paint, but he enjoys sand and water play. Sam also likes coloring (with a red crayon only), playing with blocks, and stringing beads. His teachers take advantage of his interests to work on preacademic skills such as learning colors and shapes. Sam loves to be chased or tickled by a puppet, and his teachers use this as a reward for persisting at tasks. He also enjoys a game in the gym in which everyone runs from one side of the room to the other and then stops. Sam laughs hilariously each time he has to stop, and his enjoyment is so infectious that his classmates start laughing too. Sam also loves to sing, and he is better able to focus on tasks when music is playing in the background.

Objective 010
Understand uses of ongoing assessment and evaluation in the education of students with autism spectrum disorder.

17. Which of the following would be the most effective way for Sam's teachers to monitor his progress in preacademic areas?

  1. conducting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA)
  2. doing a screening at the end of the year
  3. administering a comprehensive individual evaluation
  4. using systematic observational and teacher-made assessments
Correct Response: D.

Objective 013
Understand principles and methods of individualizing instruction for students with autism spectrum disorder.

18. Sam's IEP calls for developing his oral motor skills. Which of the following would likely be the best approach for fostering Sam's oral motor skills in his kindergarten classroom?

  1. reserving a favorite reinforcer (e.g., being chased by a puppet) for the sole purpose of rewarding Sam's production of specific speech sounds
  2. using Sam's preferred activities as opportunities to strengthen key muscle groups (e.g., including bubble-blowing during water play)
  3. rewarding Sam with a favorite reinforcer (e.g., running in the gym or coloring) whenever he spontane­ously utters a targeted sound
  4. grouping Sam with his preferred classmates for activities that build targeted skills (e.g., using facial expressions to show various emotions)
Correct Response: B.

Objective 004
Understand factors that affect development and learning in students with autism spectrum disorder.

19. Sam's parents and teachers share infor­mation by means of a communication log. One day, the teacher of students with ASD writes that Sam began screaming and ran down the hall when his class arrived in the music room to find a substitute teacher in charge. Upon reading the entry that evening, Sam's parents talk to Sam about the incident, discussing what happened and labeling the kinds of feelings he may have been experiencing. The parents then write an entry in the log describing the action they took. This interaction best illustrates which of the following?

  1. how parents'/guardians' roles in supporting their children's develop­ment can be enhanced through home–school collaboration
  2. how school professionals can educate parents/guardians about the most appropriate strategies for meeting their children's needs
  3. how an understanding of family systems can help school profes­sionals individualize each child's educational program
  4. how parents'/guardians' knowledge of their own children can provide teachers with insights into the child's behavior
Correct Response: A.

Objective 015
Understand strategies for promoting age-appropriate social competence of students with autism spectrum disorder.

20. Which of the following approaches would best foster Sam's social development in his assigned classroom for the next school year?

  1. creating a classroom buddy system and pairing Sam with a friendly and easygoing child
  2. using songs at circle time to intro­duce the children to one another and to celebrate each child
  3. ensuring that Sam is assigned to a new classroom that includes some of his preferred classmates
  4. planning frequent gross-motor activities that involve cooperation with peers
Correct Response: C.