Capstone/Dissertation Title

Finding Homeostasis in a Meteorotropic Milieu

Term

Summer 11-8-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jeff Fink

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Debra Peters

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Adele Simon

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the weather – specifically changes in barometric pressure – affects the behavior of students with ASD/AS in the classroom. The motivating factors for this capstone were: 1) a desire to provide factual evidence to support primarily anecdotal evidence regarding the correlation between student behavior and the weather; 2) to contribute to an area of research that is lacking in data. The author traces the effects of weather on humans throughout history and proposes that since students with ASD/AS can experience hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity, they can be extra sensitive to atmospheric changes in pressure, ultimately resulting in changes in classroom behavior. Data collected over an 8 week period was statistically analyzed using two different methods: Pearson linear and Spearman non-normal correlation; it was also graphed and qualitatively analyzed. The statistical analysis did not support the hypothesis, but the topical analysis found that there is a change in behaviors when there is a significant change (> 0.10 Hg) in pressure.

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