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Title: Experiences of parents whose children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are starting primary school
Author: Connolly, Micaela Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 3691
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2015
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The transition to school is considered a key event in a child’s life. It is also a major event in their parents’ lives. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are considered to be particularly vulnerable in the transition process because of their difficulties with social communication, social interaction and change. Transition programmes that facilitate the child in starting school naturally focus on the child’s needs but a review of the literature revealed little research into the experiences of parents whose children with ASD were starting school. In this study, a qualitative method, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), was used to explore the perceptions and experiences of parents whose young children with ASD were starting school in September 2013. Interviews with six participants were transcribed and analysed and examined individually. A cross-case analysis revealed three common overarching themes which reflected their experiences of the transition process and their interactions with other people in the child’s life. These include ‘I think they need to believe, believe what we’re telling them’, ‘Experience of ASD: It’s a very labelling thing’ and ‘Preparing for school and feelings about the future’. Key findings which add to the literature on this under-researched topic are described and implications are discussed with particular reference to the role of the educational psychologist in facilitating optimal outcomes for parents of children with ASD in the transition process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral