Date of Award

Winter 1-28-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Education: Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Bonnie Keilty

Second Advisor

Dr. Jamie Bleiweiss

Third Advisor

Dr. Lauren Schnell

Academic Program Adviser

Dr. Marshall George


Lockdown drills have become a regular practice in schools across the United States. These drills are currently carried out with little guidance and encompass a general plan with no differentiation for children with disabilities. This is concerning for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), since the skills needed to participate in a lockdown drill may be difficult for them. In the absence of evidence-based interventions, these children and the educators who support them are vulnerable in the event of a real emergency. It is important to understand what training practitioners need to design empirically sound lockdown drill interventions and how confident they feel to carry them out with fidelity. It is also imperative to collaborate with families to gain their input on intervention goals, outcomes, and procedures. This study investigated practitioners’ training experiences and perceptions of perceived confidence to teach lockdown drills to children in this population through survey and interview analyses. Results indicated low ratings of confidence to teach lockdown drills while higher ratings of confidence were correlated with more drill practice. Interview data revealed varied training experiences, factors that impact children’s participation, aspects of lockdown drills that are difficult to teach, and perceptions of practitioner responsibilities. This study also explored practitioner and family perceptions of how lockdown drills are taught and a proposed intervention. Interview findings illustrate how participants valued teaching lockdown drills, the need for individualized interventions, the importance of home and school collaboration, and the acceptability of a proposed intervention.



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