Enablers for inclusion: the perspectives of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder

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Abstract

Although home-school collaborations are important for inclusive education, most studies have identified the problems experienced by parents whose children have additional special needs. The aim of this studywas to present the views of Australian parents,with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, regarding what they considered to be the enablers for inclusion, within the context of their experiences of a program of support in inclusive schools (a Victorian State Government initiative called the Inclusion Support Program). Four focus group interviews were conducted, within a phenomenological, qualitative paradigm, with 14 mothers, in rural and urban primary and secondary public schools. Parents identified various innovations including the provision of a safe space, structured school and free time, flexibility around timetable, curriculum and staffing and the provision of socially attractive activities. Another theme was the potential for schools to be a `catalyst point to bring together parents, teachers and community agencies. The importance of eliciting parental expertise is highlighted here.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85 - 96
Number of pages12
JournalAustralasian Journal of Special Education
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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