An in-depth exploration into secondary school pupils’ experiences of having Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cooper, Jodi (2019) An in-depth exploration into secondary school pupils’ experiences of having Autism Spectrum Disorder. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex.

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Abstract

The experiences of young people (YP) with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are under-represented, despite legislation placing greater emphasis on pupil voice. Whilst there is a large body of research into professional and parental experiences of children and young people (CYP) with ASD, there is a scarcity of research exploring what it means for YP to live with an ASD diagnosis. The research presented here is an in-depth exploration into YP’s experiences of having a diagnosis of ASD. The Grid Elaboration Method (GEM) and semi-structured interviews were carried out with four participants (aged eleven to sixteen years old) across three mainstream secondary schools to elicit their lived experiences of having a diagnosis of ASD. All participants had diagnoses of ASD. The data was then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) in an attempt to understand the participants’ experiences. The analysis revealed five overarching themes – ‘Impact of ASD on everyday life’, ‘Questioning identity’, ‘Relating to others’, ‘Emotional response’ and ‘Where from here?’ The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to the original research question, existing literature and theory, and Educational Psychology practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Communication (incl. disorders of) > Autism
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Research, Tests, Assessments > Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2052

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