Advances in Autism : 2019 - Issue 2 : Inclusive educational practice for autistic learners

vendredi 26 avril 2019

1. Milton DEM, Martin N. Second special edition on autism and education. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 81-2.

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2. Leverton E. Publishers note. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 83-.

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3. Searle KA, Ellis L, Kourti M, MacLeod A, Lear C, Duckworth C, Irvine D, Jones H, King M, Ling J, Simpson J. Participatory autism research with students at a UK university : evidence from a small-scale empirical project. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 84-93.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to address the benefits of a participatory approach to autism research, demonstrating the positive effects of giving autistic project assistants (PAs) the opportunity to design and undertake a project researching the experiences of autistic university students. Design/methodology/approach A participatory approach was implemented, engaging autistic university students as research assistants. All the research team except project co-ordinators were autistic. Undergraduate autistic students developed and conducted a set of semi-structured interviews, with two autistic alumni responsible for data analysis and both scheduling and moderating focus groups. Participation in dissemination of the findings was open to all. Findings The results included in this paper reflect a portion of the overall findings, specifically regarding the participatory approach. The findings of the study indicate the perceptions of respondents being interviewed by autistic researchers in relation to their shared understanding, facilitating positive feelings and a sense of rapport in the interview process. The PAs were able to improve their research skills through the project, which contributed constructively to their CV and allowed them to feel more positive about being autistic, and specifically about being an autistic researcher. Originality/value This paper is one of the first to discuss the challenges and benefits of including autistic participant researchers at all stages of the research project, including research design, data collection, analysis and dissemination, being co-written by both project co-ordinators and autistic project researchers.

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4. Nolan AD, Hannah EFS. Impact of training in Autism on inclusive practices. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 94-106.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of training on educational staff attitudes, sentiments, concerns and efficacy in providing support for children with Autism in mainstream settings. Design/methodology/approach The investigation adopted a pre-test/post-test, quasi-experimental, within-subject research design. In total, 35 early years educators, teachers and pupil support assistants from one Scottish Local Authority (LA) undertook training delivered by the LA ?s Communication and Language Outreach Service. Measures included the Sentiments, Attitudes, and Concerns about Inclusive Education Revised (SACIE-R) scale and the teacher efficacy for inclusive practices (TEIP) scale pre and post-training. Post-training participants completed a questionnaire employing open and closed questions to assess perceived usefulness of training, application of knowledge and effectiveness of the teaching strategies. Findings Combining data from the three sectors there was a significant change in staff efficacy for inclusive practices (z= ?3.406, p=0.001, p<0.05, with a medium effect size r=0.41) although there were differences between the sectors. There was a significant change in SACIE-R total scores (z= ?3.945, p=0.000, p<0.05 ; with a medium effect size r=0.47), sentiments (z= ?2.763, p=0.006, p<0.05 ; with a medium effect size r=0.33) and concerns (z= ?3.685, p=0.000, p<0.05 ; with a medium effect size of r=0.44) subscale scores for the combined sector data. There was no significant change in the attitudes subscale scores for the combined sector data (z= ?1.106, p=2.69, p>0.05 ; with a small effect size r=0.13) although there were differences between the sectors. Research limitations/implications Limitations include : small sample size, minor differences in the training in different sectors, purposeful sampling, use of questionnaire post-training, variability of completion of SCAIE-R and TEIP post-training. Originality/value There appears to be limited research into inclusive practices for children with Autism in the UK context, which this study aims to address.

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5. Zuber WJ, Webber C. Self-advocacy and self-determination of autistic students : a review of the literature. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 107-16.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine current research on self-advocacy and self-determination of autistic students in order to provide an overview of the research and to critically evaluate researcher ?s methods of inclusivity of autistic people. Additionally, this paper will critically analyse the discourse of the current research to assess the extent of deficit, stigma and pathology discourse. Design/methodology/approach Research will be selected from a list of criteria which is to seek research that is inclusive of autistic people. The research will be analysed using elements of critical discourse analysis, critical disability studies and critical autism studies. The critical autism studies approach used in this paper is emancipatory to promote autistic scholarship, autistic inclusivity and autistic led research methods. Findings The result of this paper is that by prioritising, and including autistic individuals in the studies about them provides valuable educational insights and often challenges assumptions, stigmas and stereotypes of autistic individuals. Research limitations/implications The findings of the paper may be limited by the selection of literature reviewed and generalizability, therefore, researchers are encouraged to explore further. Practical implications This paper holds potential implications that question the consistency of current discourse and research into self-advocacy for autistic individuals in addition to providing effective research, teaching and support strategies based on insight. This paper also highlights some research that challenges assumptions of autistic individuals. Social implications This paper challenges assumptions and stigmas associated with autistic individuals and demonstrates the importance of self-advocacy and self-determination. This research transforms the paradigm of autism and education practice that has the potential to improve autistic individuals ? education and ultimately, improve their lives. Originality/value This research is important and valuable as there is limited research in this area. The potential of this research is that it can shift the broad perceptions of autism and make improvements in education and autistic individuals lives.

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6. Hersh M, Elley S. Barriers and enablers of inclusion for young autistic learners : lessons from the Polish experiences of teachers and related professionals. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 117-30.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present new empirical data on the experiences of 120 teachers and professionals working with autistic children and young people across different settings in Poland where autism research on inclusive education is scarce. It explores the relationship of inclusive education to the social and neurodiversity models of disability. It makes evidence-based recommendations for good practice and modelling and evaluating future education and inclusion practices. Design/methodology/approach It uses a survey approach involving a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection and embeds practical findings in theory, including the relationship of inclusive education to the social and neurodiversity models of disability. Findings The findings include the barriers teachers and related professionals experience in facilitating inclusive teaching and learning and how the following would be useful to autistic students : opportunities to exercise responsibilities and take leadership roles ; social as well as educational inclusion ; provision of a safe environment ; regular funded autism training in work time ; and appropriate use of additional classroom teachers. Research limitations/implications A survey-based approach has limitations. Practical implications Opportunities to exercise responsibilities and take leadership roles ; social as well as educational inclusion ; provision of a safe environment ; regular funded autism training in work time ; and appropriate use of additional classroom teachers. Social implications This study can be useful in the development of social skills and communication, social and educational inclusion. Originality/value Polish teachers ? attitudes, experiences and support needs, including some previously overlooked issues, are related to the broader international context beyond Poland. Analysis of the findings is used to derive evidence-based recommendations for good practice and modelling, and evaluating future education and inclusion practices.

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7. Martin N, Milton DEM, Krupa J, Brett S, Bulman K, Callow D, Copeland F, Cunningham L, Ellis W, Harvey T, Moranska M, Roach R, Wilmot S. The sensory school : working with teachers, parents and pupils to create good sensory conditions. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(2) : 131-40.

Purpose An alliance of schools and researchers formed a collaborative community of practice in order to understand and improve the sensory school environment for pupils on the autistic spectrum, and incorporate the findings into school improvement planning. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach Representatives of special and mainstream schools in South London and a team of researchers formed the project team, including an autistic researcher. The researchers and a named staff member from each of the schools met regularly over the course of 18 months in order to work on an iterative process to improve the sensory experience pupils had of the school environment. Each school completed sensory audits and observations, and was visited by members of the research team. Parents were involved via meetings with the research team and two conferences were organised to share findings. Findings Useful outcomes included : developing and sharing of good practice between schools ; opportunities for parents of autistic pupils to discuss their concerns, particularly with someone with insider perspective ; and exploration of creative ways to achieve pupil involvement and the idea that good autism practice has the potential to benefit all pupils. A resource pack was produced for the schools to access. Plans are in place to revisit the initiative in 12 months ? time in order to ascertain whether there have been long-term benefits. Originality/value Projects building communities of practice involving autistic people as core team members are rare, yet feedback from those involved in the project showed this to be a key aspect of shared learning.

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