Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Special Education

Committee Chair

Sandra Cooley Nichols

Committee Member

Kay Churchill Reeves

Committee Member

Paul M Wright

Committee Member

Robert L Williamson


Students with the most severe disabilities have special needs that cannot be addressed with general education curriculum modifications in a traditional prekindergarten-12th grade environment (Heward, 2006). It is essential that expert teachers with specialized educational background and training are prepared to adapt daily lessons to accommodate all students. Thus, the purpose of this autoethnographic research was to study the personal and professional life experiences of an expert teacher that led to integrating physical education, sensory integration, and assistive technology into a unique pedagogical approach to teach students with multiple disabilities. This approach allowed these students to be as productive as possible in the school environment and gave them an opportunity to generalize the knowledge and skills in nonacademic situations. Her research findings describe the life-long learning experiences that led to mastery of this integrated educational paradigm. The descriptive analysis of the teacher’s experiences engages the reader in a moving account that shares insight into the broad spectrum of special education as well as the experiences of a specific group of students with multiple disabilities. This memoir depicts how a teacher’s personally designed integrated educational paradigm affected her students’ improvement in communication, gross and fine motor skills, and overall feelings of self-accomplishments. The study results provide insight that may be applied to future efforts in educational practice and research related to this unique pedagogical approach.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.