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Title: Mothers' experiences of a primary specialist provision for autism attended by their child
Author: Read, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 4872
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2013
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Research evidence suggests that a significant minority of mothers of children with autism are dissatisfied with their child’s education. However, research to date has mainly comprised of large-scale ‘broad-brush’ methodologies which cannot capture the detail of these mothers’ experiences. This research sought to explore six mothers’ experiences of engaging with a specialist unit for autism attended by their child. Their accounts of these experiences were elicited through semi-structured interviews in order that the data obtained was detailed and reflected individual, subjective experience. Interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, an inductive methodology that is designed to enable the researcher to dig deep into the data and produce a rich descriptive and interpretative summary of participants’ experiences. Three superordinate themes were constructed during the analytical process. The first highlighted the importance mothers placed on feeling their child was loved and accepted by school staff. Secondly, the uncertainties and complexities of making sense of their child’s autism diagnosis were highlighted, as well as uncertainties relating to priorities for their child’s learning, and knowing what expectations to have of the specialist Unit. Finally participants’ experiences of learning are described. These learning experiences related to finding out more about their child through contact with the Unit, discovering principles and practice relating to specialist teaching skills utilised by staff, and finally developing their own way of understanding and parenting their child at home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral