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Mainstream schools VS. SEN: A thematic analysis exploring teachers' perspectives on children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behaviour in mainstream schools vs Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Green, Cassie (2018) Mainstream schools VS. SEN: A thematic analysis exploring teachers' perspectives on children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behaviour in mainstream schools vs Special Educational Needs (SEN). UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

There has been extensive research surrounding Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) pupils in support for their inclusion in the mainstream school environment, but limited research has focused on behavioural difficulties from both the mainstream teacher and Special Educational Needs (SEN) perspective collectively. This qualitative study aimed to explore how mainstream and SEN teachers perceive pupils with ASD being situated in either mainstream or SEN schooling based on the behavioural difficulties. Therefore, the present study explores a contribution of both teacher’s perspectives to develop an in-depth understanding of a mixture of experiences. To form an account of various perspectives and experiences, a snowball sample was used to recruit four mainstream teachers and four SEN teachers. Semi-structured interviews were then conducted and analysed using Braun and Clarke (2006) thematic analysis. Three highlighting themes emerged from the data: ‘Routine and Consistency’, ‘Enhancement of Social Skills’, and ‘Peer Understanding and Interaction’. These findings suggest that there are benefits to both mainstream and SEN schooling; the opportunity to receive education in a mainstream environment can aid the improvement of the behaviour of an individual with ASD depending on the routine, peer understanding and social interaction. The results of this research are critically evaluated in full.

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