CHARACTERISTICS OF TEACHERS’ RECOMMENDED SOCIAL SUPPORT STRATEGIES FOR PRIMARY STUDENTS WITH ASD

Jamie GLEDHILL, Janet CURRIE

Abstract


This study explored teachers’ perspectives of the use of social support for students with ASD through a qualitative case study. The four main themes to emerge from the interview data reflecting the teachers’ recommended strategies for social support included (a) Teachers’ views of students with ASD and social support, (b) Recommendations for best practice at the whole-school level, (c) Promoting acceptance, and (d) Practical classroom strategies. The final theme contained five subthemes or a range of practical classroom social support strategies teachers may use, including Routine, Developmental Play and Group Work, Explicitly Teaching Awareness of Emotions and Body Language, ICT, and Integration. Despite being limited to the views of two busy teachers, this study highlights the significant and vital need for the use of social support for students with ASD. This study directs teachers, schools, universities and pre-service teachers towards the use of positive pedagogies and approaches to inclusive education. It is recommended that all primary teachers consider the best practice of social support within their own classroom, and further research be carried out to investigate best practice in fostering and supporting the social growth and needs of students with ASD.

Keywords: Social Support, Practical Strategies, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Primary Education, Inclusive

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