Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

April Regester, PhD


Matthew Davis, PhD

Nicholas Husbye, PhD

Michael Bahr, PhD


Black students are negatively affected by disproportionality in school discipline practices, special education identification, and over-restrictive special education placement. Critical race theory is an operative framework that can be applied to increase understanding of such disproportionality (Blanchett, 2011). Through the use of qualitative retrospective chart review methods, this research investigated the under-representation of Black students with Autism in the context of educational evaluations, and from the Ordinariness and Social Construction Tenets of CRT. Analysis of 12 reports, six of Black students and six of White students, resulted in several findings: (1) Between group differences were present in terms of parental reporting of Autism features; (2) Analysis of full evaluative findings revealed between-group variability in Autism traits expressed/reported; (3) Determining need for special education services differed for Black and White students, as Black students’ special education eligibility was more associated with deficits in Q2: Relating to Events and White students’ eligibility was more related to deficits in Q1 :Language/Social Communication; (4) Other findings indicated Autism characteristic overlap with behaviors associated with Emotional Disturbance and Defiance/Discipline, specifically within Black student reports.