The road to school exclusion: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with parents of children with autism in the UK

Martin-Denham, Sarah (2020) The road to school exclusion: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with parents of children with autism in the UK. Autism. ISSN 1362-3613 (In Press)

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The article presents findings from interviews with five caregivers of children with autism excluded from schools in England. The research objectives were to determine the barriers and enablers to mainstream schooling for children with autism and to explore the emotional effect of the journey to school exclusion on the child and caregivers. Previous research highlighted some mainstream schools wouldn’t listen to caregivers concerns about their child’s development, behaviours and mental health. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed to understand how a homogenous sample made sense of their lived experiences. The analysis revealed four superordinate themes; inadequate special educational needs and disability (SEND) support, psychological impact, health-imposed barriers to diagnoses and effective support. Theographs present the caregiver's journeys illustrating that the onus fell on the caregivers to advocate for effective support from schools. The paper concludes that the lack of prompt diagnoses and effective school support is detrimental to emotional and physical health for children and caregivers. Training is needed to ensure thresholds for education, health and care needs assessments are understood alongside evidence-based approaches to support children with SEND. The policy implications are to examine barriers to prompt health assessments across services and the impact of decreased funding on schools.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Primary Education
Education > Childhood Studies
Psychology > Cognitive Behaviour
Social Sciences > Community and Youth Work
Education > Early Childhood Studies
Education > Educational Research
Education > Further Education
Education > Higher Education
Education > Secondary Education
Psychology > Social Psychology
Social Sciences > Working with Young People
Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society
Depositing User: Sarah Martin-Denham
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 09:40
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2021 16:30
ORCID for Sarah Martin-Denham: ORCID iD

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