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Title: "People call me a nerd, that means they're saying I'm clever" : using Personal Construct Psychology to explore the self-awareness skills of pupils with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
Author: Watson-Butterworth, Gemma
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 6616
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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Research suggests that those with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have increased levels of mental health difficulties (e.g. Simonoff et al, 2008), though there is a poor evidence base around how professionals might be able to support these needs (e.g. National Autistic Society, 2010).There is some suggestion that Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) might have some utility in addressing these issues (e.g. Attwood, 2007), though this lacks thorough investigation. In line with a pragmatic approach to research, I chose an action research methodology to investigate how I could use PCP to extend the self-awareness skills of pupils with a diagnosis of ASD, an area often linked to positive wellbeing. I used various PCP activities with secondary aged pupils, adapting and modifying the methods according to their responses, skills and areas of need. The data included my own reflections and observations from the sessions, transcripts and notes of session content, as well as evaluations from the pupils relating to the activities they completed. Template analysis, a matrix framework and thematic analysis were used to analyse the two cycles of data. Findings related to processes of application (practitioner skills), and use of PCP (how activities helped the pupils to make extensions to their self-awareness when made accessible). Compared to the range of comments pupils made during the first session, all pupils showed extensions to their self-awareness following PCP, though with a wide variation in the extent of complexity shown. This study therefore yields practical implications, both for my own practice as well as for the EP profession. There is a continuing need for pupils with ASD to access support towards enhancing their emotional wellbeing; this study serves as the basis for practitioners to trial PCP approaches in order to support the development of pupil self-awareness.
Supervisor: Campbell, Lorraine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available