Developing Effective Structures for Autistic Learners: Transitions between Education Settings

Evans, Clare (2022) Developing Effective Structures for Autistic Learners: Transitions between Education Settings. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Transitions between education settings are ‘a pivotal moment’ (Fortuna, 2014, p.177) for autistic learners. This dissertation considers the successes, limitations, and importance of such transitions while evaluating current practice and the impacts of this on autistic learners, their families, and professionals in this field. Autism as a condition is a complex field and thus requires a person-centred approach to such transitions – ‘a brain-by-brain, strength-by-strength basis’ (Grandin and Panek, 2014, p.200). To examine this issue, a literature review was conducted to examine research into the area of multi-agency practice and the barriers to effective support. Furthermore, the views of professionals, families and autistic learners have been considered. With the introduction of the Additional Learning Needs Education Tribunal (Wales) Act (2018) (ALNET) following a decade of austerity that has been further compounded by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to consider the potential impacts of such legislation on current practice as Wales moves into a new framework. Current research indicates two key themes in the limitations of successful transitional arrangements for autistic learners: austerity and inconsistent multi-agency practice. Several distinct disadvantages are already at play for autistic people: increased levels of deprivation (Welsh Government, 2014 cited in Shaw et al., 2016), co-morbid mental health conditions (University of British Columbia, 2021), and typically poorer socio-economic outcomes in adulthood (Shaw et al., 2016). Thus, it is vital that issues in support are addressed to improve these transitional structures for autistic learners and thus positively impact their wellbeing, their families, and future outcomes. In short, this dissertation emphasises the need for a successful ALNET implementation as well as careful consideration of the successes and limitations as time moves on.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2023 14:33
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 14:33

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