In general education classrooms across the United States, students with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) learn how to write and cultivate their writing skills. Teachers of students with ASD have the unique responsibility of carrying out effective instruction to all students. However, the growing body of research around evidence-based practices and approaches for students with ASD is limited. Two effective practices that have shown positive statistical significance for students with ASD are the self-regulated strategy development model (SRSD) and the social-emotional learning (SEL) framework. General education instruction faces a research-practice gap because of the widespread lack of strategy instruction and lack of evidence-based practices implemented in the classroom. The purpose was to design an integrated strategy instruction tool with an SEL framework, to provide potentially more feasible and equitable writing instruction for elementary students with ASD in general education classrooms. Therefore, a relationship skills themed expressive writing unit aligned with fifth grade language arts Florida State Standards was developed. Specifically, the researcher integrated the SRSD model into a five-day themed writing unit that teaches mnemonic writing strategies. The writing unit utilizes high-quality, SEL themed children's literature, cooperative learning practices, writing stations, and many formative assessment opportunities. In the future, the researcher's next step is to implement the writing unit in a general education classroom with a substantial ASD population to examine its efficacy and effectiveness. Hopefully, the feasibility of this innovative writing unit will decrease the research-practice gap that general education teachers face.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Blanch, Norine


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Elementary Education, K-6 Certification



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date