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Title: Listening to parents of children with autism : a qualitative study of 'how parents of children with autism perceive the experience of mainstream schooling'
Author: Davies, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 6354
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis sought to gather the experiences and perceptions of parents who have children with a diagnosis of autism and currently attend a mainstream school. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to explore the data from a qualitative and social constructionist perspective. A wide range of experiences and perceptions emerged despite the similarity of geographical location. Most parents had positive and supportive experiences of mainstream schooling although this was not unanimously the case. Some parents had poor experiences and raised questions and doubts concerning the efficacy of the current mainstream education system. Also highlighted, was the impact of having a child diagnosed with autism on, parental identity, wider relationships with family, friends and professionals. This thesis argues that, for the parents in this research, parental participation was vital in order to meet the needs of their children and to enable inclusion within mainstream school. Parents achieved this participation by engaging emotionally, cognitively and behaviourally with their child's schooling. These actions also appear to have an important and positive effect on the child and their family. Parents may be viewed as 'warrior parents' (Lamb, 2009) but this may suggest that parents want to fight for the needs of their child. This thesis suggests that the term 'advocate parent' may be more appropriate and may reflect the experiences and perceptions of parents. Therefore, improvements and adjustments to school policy, practice and procedures are encouraged to facilitate active parent participation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available