Parents and Professionals Understanding of School Readiness for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Analysis

Dharani, J (2017) Parents and Professionals Understanding of School Readiness for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Analysis. Masters thesis, KMCH College of Occupational Therapy, Coimbatore.


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BACKGROUND : Occupational therapists frequently assist children to make the transition from preschool to school. This involves a ‘significant ecological shift’, with children having to negotiate increased academic and social demands, as well as physical changes in their learning environments. School readiness should be well understood for the successful transition to school & academic performance for all children, including children with special needs and also children with ASD. OBJECTIVE : The objective of this study was to identify the perspectives regarding school readiness among professionals and parents of children with ASD. METHODOLOGY : A qualitative research design was adopted for this study. A valid interview guide was prepared and was used to conduct the semi- structured interview with parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and professionals including occupational therapists, psychologists, special educators and primary school teachers. The participants (n= 100; 50 parents & 50 professionals) were selected on the basis of purposive sampling and interviewed. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics as well as thematic analysis of the recorded interview. RESULTS : The major themes for school readiness that evolved from the present study were social skills, challenging behaviours, educational system, lack of training and knowledge by school teachers, functional communication and family support. 90% of parents reported that the challenging behaviours of the children was a barrier to school readiness. About 87.5% of the occupational therapists viewed the importance of the severity of the condition being a major component in determining the school readiness of children with autism. The physical development (87.5%) and fine motor development (75%) were rated as important for schooling of children with ASD in mainstream. 66.66% of the psychologists in this study view the importance of Government regulations, a crucial factor for sending a child with ASD to mainstream school. CONCLUSION : The present study contributed to the existing ASD literature by including multiple perspectives on school readiness of children with ASD. The results fostered the need of stimulating the parents and stakeholders to emphasize the importance of child- centered focus on school readiness.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, school readiness, parents, professionals.
Subjects: OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY > Occupational Therapy in Paediatrics
Depositing User: Kambaraman B
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 16:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 16:28

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