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Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the School of Education, including those researching educational and social practices in curricular subjects. Research in this area seeks to understand the complex influences that increase curricula capacity and engagement by studying how curriculum practices relate to cultural, intellectual and social practices in and out of schools and nurseries.

Research at the School of Education also spans a number of other areas, including inclusive pedagogy, philosophy of education, health and wellbeing within health-related aspects of education (e.g. physical education and sport pedagogy, autism and technology, counselling education, and pedagogies for mental and emotional health), languages education, and other areas.

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Teaching children with autism spectrum disorder with restricted interests : a review of evidence for best practice

Gunn, Kerry C. M. and Delafield-Butt, Jonathan T. (2016) Teaching children with autism spectrum disorder with restricted interests : a review of evidence for best practice. Review of Educational Research, 86 (2). pp. 408-430. ISSN 1935-1046

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Abstract

Inclusive education requires teachers to adapt to children’s learning styles. Children with autism spectrum disorder bring challenges to classroom teach- ing, often exhibiting interests restricted to particular topics. Teachers can be faced with a dilemma either to accommodate these restricted interests (RIs) into teaching or to keep them out of the classroom altogether. In this article, we examined all peer-reviewed studies of teaching children with autism spec- trum disorder with RIs published between 1990 and 2014. We find that posi- tive gains in learning and social skills can be achieved by incorporating children’s RIs into classroom practice: Of 20 published studies that examined 91 children, all reported gains in educational attainment and/or social engagement. Negative consequences were limited to a decrease in task per- formance in one child and a transient increase in perseverative behaviors in two children. The evidence supports the inclusion of RIs into classroom prac- tice. Methods of inclusion of RIs are discussed in light of practical difficulties and ideal outcomes.