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Teachers' experience of support in the mainstream education of pupils with autism

Mackay, Gilbert and Grieve, Ann and Glashan, Lisa (2004) Teachers' experience of support in the mainstream education of pupils with autism. Improving Schools, 7 (1). pp. 49-60. ISSN 1365-4802

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Abstract

This article reports a study of support for pupils with autism in a Scottish education authority. The pupils attend mainstream classes in primary schools but receive additional support from an outreach service. The study aimed to understand the nature of outreach support from a mainstream teacher's point of view. The principal data of the project were interview transcripts from a critical-case sample of five schools. The data were subjected to two levels of analysis. First, they were grouped under five themes concerning teachers' perceptions of support: speech and language therapy; parents, special assistants, communications, and the existing generic learning support team. Second, these five themes were reassembled as a textural and structural analysis which identified areas which influenced teachers' perception of their own competence and the support of others. Among these areas, other professionals' experience of working with pupils who are autistic was valued highly as a source of support.