Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum in Inclusive Schools
A Practical Guide to Implementing Evidence-Based Approaches
Inclusive education has grown as an international movement to not only support students with disabilities but also promote equitable access, participation, and success for all students. This book will transform the capacity of teachers and specialists working with students and families to effectively support an inclusive approach to education for students on the autism spectrum.
This book addresses the urgent need to identify inclusive educational environments and strategies for students on the autism spectrum so that they have the best chance of social, behavioural, and academic success at school. Teachers who include students on the autism spectrum in primary and secondary classrooms require greater knowledge of how they can best support the learning, social, and behavioural needs of their students. Without such knowledge, the consequences can include unsatisfactory learning experiences for all students, and interrupted schooling for the student on the autism spectrum through reduced attendance and retention, lower academic performance, exclusion, disengagement, and pressure on parents to make alternative arrangements for their child’s education.
Inclusive education is socially, emotionally, and academically beneficial for all students and positively impacts on respectful attitudes to difference. This book presents innovative, evidence-based practices that will build the capacity of teachers and specialists implementing an inclusive and contextually relevant approach to education that will support students on the autism spectrum and meet the diverse needs of all students in their classrooms.
Table of Contents
Part 1 – Introduction. 1. Moving from a special education model to an inclusive education model: Implications for supporting students on the autism spectrum in inclusive settings – An evidence-based approach, Beth Saggers and Suzanne Carrington. Part 2 – Inclusion and school connectedness: A whole-school approach. 2. School connectedness to support student mental health and wellbeing, Ian Shochet, Astrid Wurfl, Jayne Orr, Rachel Kelly, Beth Saggers and Suzanne Carrington. 3. How to implement a whole-school approach to school connectedness, Suzanne Carrington, Beth Saggers, Ian Shochet, Astrid Wurfl and Jayne Orr. Part 3 – Enhancing teaching and the learning experience in the classroom: Impact on educational practice for students on the autism spectrum. 4. Inclusive teaching for students on the autism spectrum, Amanda Webster, Beth Saggers and Suzanne Carrington. 5. Models of Practice for teachers of students on the autism spectrum, Wendi Beamish, Trevor Clark, Susan Bruck, Annalise Taylor, Ainslie Robinson, Emma Gallagher, Vicki Gibbs and Keely Harper-Hill. 6. Using structured teaching strategies in mainstream classrooms: Research to practice, Libby Macdonald, Jill Ashburner and Keely Harper-Hill. 7. Sound amplification in school contexts: Implications for inclusive practice, Keely Harper-Hill, Wayne Wilson, Rebecca Armstrong, Kelsey Perrykkad, Cerys Downing and Jill Ashburner. Part 4 – Transition to life after school. 8. Post-school transitions: Supportive strategies informed by real-life experiences, Rachel Aberdein and Beth Saggers. 9. Boosting post-school outcomes: Supporting adolescents on the autism spectrum to feel ready for life after school, Megan Hatfield, Marina Ciccarelli, Cheryl Mangan and Michael Whelan. 10. A creative strengths-based post-school transition project for young adults on the autism spectrum: Super Conductor and the Big Game Orchestra, Michael Whelan, Sofia Mavropoulou and Yanto Browning. Part 5 – Conclusion. 11. Summary and propositions, Keely Harper-Hill, Suzanne Carrington, Beth Saggers and Michael Whelan
Suzanne Carrington is a Professor in education at QUT Australia. She has over 25 years of experience working in universities in teaching, research, international development, and senior leadership roles. Suzanne’s areas of expertise are in inclusive education, ethical leadership, and disability impacting on policy and practice in Australian and international contexts.
Beth Saggers is an Associate Professor in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at QUT Australia.
Keely Harper-Hill is the Research Associate for the Enhancing Learning and Teaching education research program of the Autism CRC at QUT Australia.
Michael Whelan is an Associate Professor in the School of Creative Practice at QUT Australia. He is also a writer, musician, and autism advocate.
There should be nothing ‘special’ about education, when delivered equitably it is transformational for every student no matter their background, individual profile or place of learning. This philosophy underpins this extraordinary body of work, created through the unique and diverse collaboration of researchers brought together by the Autism CRC. However, it is not an academic tome but a practical one, emanating from real life experience and leveraging the expertise not just of teachers but of students, parents and allied practitioners. But most importantly it is w-holistic, valuing outcomes that are whole of school, whole of community and whole of self. Informed by the voices of those most impacted, it is an essential resource for any educator- Judy Brewer AO, parent advocate, Australia.
We know the importance of inclusive education for our children but for too long it has been a talking point rather than an action point. This book is a researched roadmap to a better way and a plan to get there- Nicole Rogerson, CEO and Director, Autism Awareness Australia.
How do you make school autism-friendly? This comprehensive guide tells you how this can be achieved, based on extensive research that evaluates new programmes and activities. The perspectives and needs of teachers, parents and autistic adolescents are explored and acknowledged, from improving connectedness with peers and teachers to the acoustics in the classroom. Every school should have a copy of this book- Professor Tony Attwood, Adjunct Professor, Griffith University, Australia