The Nature of Educational Inclusion for Students Diagnosed Autistic Spectrum Disorder with Challenging Behaviours

Foster, Graham (2005) The Nature of Educational Inclusion for Students Diagnosed Autistic Spectrum Disorder with Challenging Behaviours. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Increasing numbers of students with disabilities are being educated in mainstream schools in response to the international call for inclusive education. This study investigated the experiences of five students diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with challenging behaviours, and those who support them including parents, class and special education teachers, regarding inclusive education. At the time of the study, the five male students were all of upper primary school age, and attended state schools in Queensland, Australia. A multi-case study approach was adopted to better understand the nature of inclusion through engaging participants (students, class teacher, parents, and special education teachers) in "conversations" about their experiences of inclusion by means of semi-structured interviews. Students diagnosed ASD with challenging behaviours are testing the educational system as it attempts to meet their individual needs. This is due in part to the complexities associated with the disability of ASD and the many factors required in the delivery of effective inclusive practices.

The findings of the research study reflected significant variance in the nature of inclusive schooling practices. Data collected from participants involved in a focus group interview and five case studies were used to describe the practices adopted in response to meeting the educational needs of individual students diagnosed ASD with challenging behaviours. There were five key findings that emerged from this study. Firstly, a range of practices was identified for each of the five children and these were posited along the continuum from inclusive to exclusive. Secondly, inclusive practices emerged from a number of interconnected processes including training, stakeholder collaboration, a school culture pursuing educational inclusion, and educator efficacy. Thirdly, educator efficacy appears to be the most crucial factor in the establishment of inclusive practices, without it exclusionary practices prevail. Fourthly, legislation and policy alone do not appear to result in the universal adoption of inclusive educational practices. Lastly, while all students had unique educational programming needs, this thesis found that there is a need for an appropriate model to be implemented to offer a foundation level of appropriate education interventions. Implications for educational policy and practice relevant to inclusive education were discussed.

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ID Code: 16167
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Ehrich, Lisa & Scott, Wendy
Keywords: Autistic Spectrum, Austism, Behaviours, Inclusion
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Graham Foster
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:57
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2017 14:40

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