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Title: An exploration into the processes of identifying children with autistic spectrum disorders
Author: Hussain, Anwar.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3585 0767
Awarding Body: Leeds Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Leeds Beckett University
Date of Award: 2004
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In the field of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) there has been an increasing amount of quantitative research exploring the symptoms leading to a possible diagnosis of ASD contributing to the knowledge and understanding in this area. This has occurred both in the clinical arena of diagnosis and in the social sphere of access to both additional health and educational resources. However, a number of research difficulties exist with previous studies. For example, the diagnosis and access to resources are based on a homogenous population; more specific to this research, ethnicity does not appear to have been considered and then operationalised into diagnostic models. Not to acknowledge ethnicity in the realm of objective categories around ASD has resulted in little or no work to explore the current orientation of ASD amongst ethnic minorities in England. This doctoral research intends to shed some light in the area of ASD amongst ethnic minority groups. It is divided into three broad interrelated parts. First, an attempt is made to critically summarise and evaluate the research undertaken in the field of ASD. The literature review focuses on the following issues: what are autistic spectrum disorders, special educational needs policy and practice for families of second language learners, and professionals training and perspectives in the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders. Based on these findings, part two analyses quantitative data on Asian and white children with a diagnosis of ASD and a statement for special educational need in thirteen local educational authorities. The objective being to examine the link between ethnicity and a diagnosis of ASD. The statistical manipulation in the results section supports the view that there is a statistically significant difference in the prevalence when comparing the statementing rates of children with a diagnosis of ASD and their ethnicity. The third part of this research is a more penetrative inquiry, using qualitative interviews, in one local education authority and was directed towards professionals involved in the diagnosis of ASD. The findings of this analysis suggest that the diagnosis of ASD is an interpretative process that appears to be influenced by the context in which the decision is being undertaken and the beliefs of the professionals involved. It also suggests that the practice of diagnosis of ASD differs from that suggested by the medical model. This research highlights some of the implications in assuming a model based on the rational approach in a field of ASD. The research suggests that the current processes are undertaken through observations of behaviours that are reliant on clinical judgements and fail to take into account cultural and social differences. It concludes by suggesting that a lack of acceptance of the interpretative element of the ASD diagnosis does question the appropriateness of the diagnosis and how this may impact on the child, parent and family from ethnic minority groups.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available