Development and Inclusion of Autistic Children in Public Schools

Claudia Salceanu

Abstract


Characterized by limited or almost inexistent social skills, autistic children imperatively need social integration, in order to ensure a positive social environment in which they could imitate their colleagues and develop better means of communication. A sample of 60 teachers from public and special schools, aged between 29 and 50 years old, was assessed using Inclusion of Children with Special Needs in Public Schools Questionnaire (Chițu, Barcau & Blaga, 2016) in order to analyse their opinions and attitudes towards inclusive education. A sample of 75 children (aged between 8 and 12 years old) with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, with whom these teachers interact, was assessed with Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System II (ABAS II, Harisson & Oakland, 2012). We found significant differences regarding communication, community use and self-care, social skills and general adaptive composite (GAC score), between children in special and public schools. Furthermore, teachers emphasize that: (1) society, in general, has a tolerant attitude toward children with educational special needs; (2) families with such children choose a public school mostly in order to integrate their children in society and to ensure them the right to equal chances; (3) differential assessment strategies are needed for these children and adaptation of the curriculum to their needs; (4) children with special needs have a real chance of success in a public school. Results are analysed in relationship with teacher’s roles, opinions and attitudes toward the integration of autistic children in public schools.


Keywords


Autistic children; integration; special schools; public schools

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18662/brain/11.1/12

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