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Title: Investigation into factors associated with the provision of effective education for children with autistic spectrum disorders
Author: Tissot, Catherine
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis investigates the factors associated with provision of education for children with autism spectrum disorders. The child is at the centre of this investigation, as the issues and constraints clearly impact on the quality of the provision delivered. Educational provision for children with autism also affects families and social agencies. The family is usually first to recognise that their child is not developing as he or she should. Typically, a diagnosis of autism or autistic spectrum disorder leads the family to the LEA in an effort to get the child's educational needs met within a school setting. Improvement in educational provision for children can only be obtained when it is based on research in this area. This is especially true for the case of children diagnosed with autism, as research is limited. What research does exist focuses on specific methodologies or proposed causes, and does not explore the effects that appropriate provision has on a child. To aid this thesis, systems theory has been employed to explore the tensions and dilemmas that exist. This ecosystemic approach is useful when teasing apart the influences both proximal and distal that benefit the child's educational experience. These influences can come from the school, home, LEA or the interactions between and among these partners. This study will examine these influences. Through the use of a case study, the researcher observed a school during its day-to-day implementation of educational provision. In addition, the views of an LEA and parents were sought through the use of interviews and a survey. The main research findings showed several factors as having influence on the child in regards to educational provision. Investigation into a school showed the difficulties associated with putting provision into practice. When faced with severe staffing shortages, absence of active leadership,, and extreme behavioural problems of the children, teaching activity was thwarted. Survey results revealed the difficulties faced by parents in securing provision. Parents reported high levels of stress that this research correlated to longer waiting times, late diagnosis, type of provision, and guidance from specialists. Significant also, was the finding that survey parents reported a statistically significant decrease in the age of diagnosis of the children. Significant findings revealed through LEA interviews found that although striving to work with families, efforts were frustrated by increasing numbers of children, limitations on the number of children accepted into favoured placements, and parental self imposed restrictions on placement choice. Lastly, this research proposed several key suggestions based on the literature review and the research undertaken to improve and promote best practice in the agreement, allocation and enactment of educational provision.
Supervisor: Evans, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social agencies ; Systems theory ; Tensions ; Dilemmas