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Durham e-Theses
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Narrative, autism and mainstream secondary schooling in England: Issues in assessment, inclusion and intervention

Carey, Lucy Jane (2007) Narrative, autism and mainstream secondary schooling in England: Issues in assessment, inclusion and intervention. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Narrative research has been the focus of investigation for many years and has provided insights in to communication, the development of society, individual identity, and psycholinguistics. In recent years, interest in the narrative abilities of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has developed and the field has advanced rapidly. This thesis investigates the abilities of high-functioning individuals with ASD with regard to narrative structure in the context of inclusive practice within mainstream schooling in England. It is motivated by the implementation of inclusive education policies and focuses on using the abilities of children and young adults with ASD to overcome their weaknesses. This positive view of ASD forms the ethos of this thesis and the data it presents. The discussion encompasses research from the fields of Education, Psychology and Linguistics to develop the initial investigation into the level of structural narrative abilities in high-functioning individuals with ASD. Through an investigation which uses Labov's (1997) framework of analysis, these initial studies identify impairments in the narrative structure produced by these individuals. In addition, this initial analysis identifies the potential impact of elicitation techniques on the narrative data yielded. These results are discussed in relation to the existing research, to inclusive practice, and their implications for the intervention study undertaken as part of the current research. The intervention presented in the second part of this thesis aimed to provide teaching staff with an additional tool in order to meet the needs of high-functioning individuals with ASD in mainstream, inclusive education. As such, the intervention design is unobtrusive and flexible in its application. The results of case study analyses for five high-functioning individuals with ASD are inconclusive but nonetheless highlight the importance of individualising interventions where possible. They reveal that whilst three individuals benefit from the intervention, two do not. Further discussion identifies several areas for the development and further research of the techniques used. In particular, it is suggested that more discrete task levels reflecting more discrete ability levels would enable the intervention to remain applicable in inclusive classrooms whilst providing additional support at a variety of levels. These conclusions are related to inclusive practice, and recommendations and implications for future research are highlighted.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:55

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