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Title: Factors promoting school success and inclusion of children with autistic spectrum conditions
Author: Waddington, Emma Maria
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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The past ten years have seen a growing drive towards 'full inclusion' of children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in schools however this has not been accompanied by sufficient research on its impact. This thesis evaluates the effectiveness of inclusion. But at the same time, as the movement towards inclusion appears unstoppable, it also looks at ways practice could improve outcomes, and, in particular, whether teaching the Preschool Inventory of Repertoires for Kindergarten (PIRK) curriculum can help prepare a child for mainstream. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used, and primary and secondary data analysed. Eight focus groups, between five- and eight-strong, ascertained the views of both professionals and parents on what promotes successful inclusion. Predictors and outcome measures, such as academic results, were extracted from secondary data of archival material on 108 children to compare those with ASC placed in mainstream and special schools. In addition, primary data on parental coping and severity were collected as predictors of success. Longitudinal primary data of 83 children, measuring social, behavioural, and communicative functioning, were collected to assess the effect of placement on these measures. Finally, longitudinal primary data for 47 children, measuring social, behavioural and communicative functioning of children undergoing the PIRK in both mainstream and special schools were analysed to see whether preparation for mainstream can improve outcomes. The findings suggest that placement is having a differential effect, but that special schools can improve performance significantly, despite the existing bias against them. However, practice along with extra-school factors, such as parental coping styles, is often more important than the placement itself. School, LEA and child factors were shown to be crucial in mainstream. Teaching using the PIRK improved outcomes for children with ASC in both placements, supporting its use in preparation for mainstream.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available