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Autism Spectrum Disorders: An international comparison of success factors in school support programmes

Background and aims

School support programmes for children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder pose many challenges to all concerned when it comes to their implementation in practice. The academic discourse in the last ten years has examined specific circumstances in relation to both personal characteristics or needs and the institutional framework. This research has given rise not only to theory-driven models but also to practical recommendations for school support programmes aimed at children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder.

How these findings have been transferred into educational practice has not, on the other hand, been widely researched, especially in German-speaking areas. There is also a lack of research into effective strategies for implementing specialist knowledge in the school context. This new project addresses these gaps in our knowledge:  

The objective is to recognise and understand

  • the concrete challenges,
  • the current need for action
  • and the factors influencing continuous improvements to school support programmes.

A further aim is to develop, test and evaluate a theoretically and empirically founded strategy for implementing autism-specific knowledge, and to identify factors and components that influence the implementation of autism-specific knowledge.

Questions

The research is guided by the following practical questions about school support programmes for children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder:

  • What challenges and needs for action should be addressed by an effective strategy for creating a favourable framework?
  • What content, components and structures should be incorporated into an effective strategy for creating a favourable framework?
  • What factors must be taken into account when implementing this approach?

Methods

The research project breaks down into five stages, each with its own focal content and methods.

1) Analysis of current academic discourse

2) Empirical status analysis of school programmes to support children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder

3) Development of an intervention strategy which focally addresses information, continued training, coaching and counselling

4) Pilot study of intervention strategy implementation

5) Evaluation of the pilot study

Kontakt

Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at]hfh.ch zfe