Understanding the Voices and Educational Experiences of Autistic Young People : From Research to Practice book cover
1st Edition

Understanding the Voices and Educational Experiences of Autistic Young People
From Research to Practice

ISBN 9781032089614
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
168 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Providing a ‘one stop’ text, Understanding the Voices and Educational Experiences of Autistic Young People is a unique and comprehensive contribution to bridge the gap between theory, research and practice. Based on the author’s teaching and research experience, this book provides a theoretical and practical framework for participatory rights-based autism research and demonstrates the benefits of – and growing emphasis on – voice and participation research; if done correctly it can be of immense benefit to policy, practice and how we support autistic young people.

Alongside a critical and extensive review of research literature and debate on the efficacy of mainstream inclusion for autistic children, the book provides practical advice on how to support autistic children in research and in school. Significantly, Goodall investigates and presents the educational experiences of autistic young people – including girls – and their suggestions to improve educational practice from their own perspectives, as opposed to adult stakeholders.

This book will act as a key text for student teachers, practitioner-researchers, those already supporting autistic children in education or social settings (including teachers, school leaders, special education leads, policymakers) and academics researching in the areas of autism and inclusion.

Table of Contents


1. Inclusion

2. Rights Perspective

3. Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Inclusion

4. Researching with Autistic Young People

5. Educational experiences of Autistic Young People

6. Educational improvement

7. Inclusion from the perspectives of autistic young people

8. Conclusion

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Craig Goodall is an educator with twelve years’ experience working with autistic young people and others out of mainstream education in Northern Ireland, UK.


The opinions and experiences of autistic children and young people are all too often overlooked in autism research and practice. Goodall’s inspiring book puts that right, by placing young people at the very centre of discussion. Goodall’s deep respect for, and willingness to listen to and learn from the young autistic people in his research is exemplary. Everyone with an interest in autism should read it. - Professor Liz Pellicano, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Recently, there has been an increased emphasis on developing appropriate educational responses for children and young people on the autism spectrum. However, there are relatively few books that provide in-depth insights into the lives of young people on the autism spectrum as they navigate their school journeys. Craig Goodall’s book addresses this serious gap in the literature through a scholarly yet grounded piece of work. Craig has adopted a creative research approach designed to support and empower these young people. Their stories, their struggles and their successes are at the heart of this book. This is essential reading for practitioners, policymakers and all those interested in developing inclusive learning environments as we begin to learn about how the voices of these young people can be recognised and help us to reconceptualise school life so that these young people can be fully included. - Michael Shevlin, Professor in Inclusive Education, School of Education and Director of Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

This is a highly important and insightful book on the educational experiences of a group of young people who have, for too long, been rendered invisible by dominant educational pedagogy. In this key text for educators, trainee teachers, researchers and policymakers, Goodall exposes us to the rich possibilities and practicalities of participatory and rights-based research in accessing autistic young people's perspectives. The findings force us as researchers and educators to engage critically with inclusive education discourse and its emergent tensions, not least the implications for policy and practice. These voices cannot and should not be ignored. - Dr Bronagh Byrne, Lecturer in Social Policy, Programme Director for MSc Children's Rights, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland