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Title: Exploring the post 16 transition experiences of pupils with autistic spectrum disorders
Authors: Barrow, Lucy Caroline
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Transition from secondary school to Post 16 education is a significant event in the educational lives of young people. The impact of this is further heightened for students with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This paper begins with a systematic literature review which explores what is known about the experiences of young people with ASD during this process. Through qualitative synthesis and thematic analysis of the studies identified key themes were highlighted. These were ‘Independence’, ‘Role of the family’, ‘Purpose of education’, 'Curriculum content', 'Supports for learning', 'Concerns about the future’, ’Relationships’ and ‘The process of transition’. The review highlighted issues around the nature and perceived purpose of the transition process, and the opportunities that it presents as a learning opportunity on the topic of change as well as a facilitator for it. Two contrasting metaphors of transition as a rollercoaster and as a vehicle were also identified within the studies. The empirical research which followed, aimed to gain insight into students’ perspectives on the transition experience, process and their role within it. This was carried out via online qualitative questionnaires with Year 12 students. Questionnaires were chosen in order to provide an appropriate and comfortable mechanism for individuals with ASD to express their views. Questionnaire th responses were received from students in both specialist 6 form provision and th mainstream 6 form colleges. The responses of these students were then coded and analysed using thematic analysis. Several themes were identified within three super ordinate themes of ‘help’, ‘social communication’ and ‘environment’. Students’ identification of independence in terms of being alone and without help was a particular area of interest and further ideas around how their concept of independence could be developed in more beneficial ways are discussed. This paper also includes a bridging document which explores how the findings from the systematic review led to the empirical piece of research and considers the theoretical and epistemological underpinnings of the research.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy.
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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