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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2019

Marion Hersh and Sharon Elley

The purpose of this paper is to present new empirical data on the experiences of 120 teachers and professionals working with autistic children and young people across different…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present new empirical data on the experiences of 120 teachers and professionals working with autistic children and young people across different settings in Poland where autism research on inclusive education is scarce. It explores the relationship of inclusive education to the social and neurodiversity models of disability. It makes evidence-based recommendations for good practice and modelling and evaluating future education and inclusion practices.

Design/methodology/approach

It uses a survey approach involving a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection and embeds practical findings in theory, including the relationship of inclusive education to the social and neurodiversity models of disability.

Findings

The findings include the barriers teachers and related professionals experience in facilitating inclusive teaching and learning and how the following would be useful to autistic students: opportunities to exercise responsibilities and take leadership roles; social as well as educational inclusion; provision of a safe environment; regular funded autism training in work time; and appropriate use of additional classroom teachers.

Research limitations/implications

A survey-based approach has limitations.

Practical implications

Opportunities to exercise responsibilities and take leadership roles; social as well as educational inclusion; provision of a safe environment; regular funded autism training in work time; and appropriate use of additional classroom teachers.

Social implications

This study can be useful in the development of social skills and communication, social and educational inclusion.

Originality/value

Polish teachers’ attitudes, experiences and support needs, including some previously overlooked issues, are related to the broader international context beyond Poland. Analysis of the findings is used to derive evidence-based recommendations for good practice and modelling, and evaluating future education and inclusion practices.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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