Where are we now? Current perspectives on good practice in …

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Where are we now? Current perspectives on good practice in ASD

Dr. Rita Jordan Reader in Autism Studies The School of Education The University of Birmingham, UK 2004

Autism Cymru 04

Education & ASDs


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access relevance breadth



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congruence success?

Difficulties & Differences

Executive functions

‘monotropic’ attention

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impulse control idiosyncratic perception

Imagination & reality testing

Empathy & emotional/ conscious understanding

Concept development

problems abstracting

rigidity of concept & schema boundaries

Learning Style

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Visual rather than verbal Memory

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cued rote ‘Social’ a dimension of difficulty Emotions and cognition

use interests for engagement At sensory stage of meaning

presentation --> reference Repetition & consolidation Explicit strategies for problem solving

Life-long education

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Early intervention programmes Empowering parents & key workers Support in further & higher education Vocational training and support

Recreational education - risk & quality of life

Educational focus to care

Range & Inclusion

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Asperger’s core disorder?

ASD to identify needs


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Maintain ‘relevance’ Challenge to systems Train personnel Involve peers Recognise as process Continuum and stages

Working with families

Empathy with parents

Range of services

Transactional relationship

Added resource

Complementary involvement

Identifying & Sharing Good Practice

Journals e.g. GAP/ Autism

UK National initiatives

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NIASA - National Plan for Autism DfES - Best Practice Guidance

Community research shows no single approach best

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depends on purpose extravagant claims unsupported

International conferences

Move away from ‘deficit’ model SEN from


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Strengths Interests Environment

Difference and transactional nature

Work to strengths

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Match to style Respect for compensation Teach for meaning

Working Towards


Services available to all from point of need

Education as a human right for all

Making parents less vulnerable to exploitation by giving them informed choices

More co-operation, less commercial competition between service providers and developers of teaching approaches

Principles for Education

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Relevant, meaningful & engaging Least restrictive Current and future quality of life Advocacy, and realism Stress reduction Holistic approach


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Psychology Environment and culture


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More ‘bottom up’ understanding and approaches needed More co-operation for truth and dignity and less exploitation Accepting and using professional & personal knowledge Less rhetoric Recognition of values as well as ‘evidence’ base of education

‘ placebo effect’

benefits, not just constraints