Autism CRC Projects

Australian Educational Needs Analysis

This project will help shape the future with a landmark national analysis of the educational needs of students aged 5-18 years on the autism spectrum. The project called on school administrators, teachers and specialist support staff, ancillary support staff such as teacher aides, parents of students on the spectrum and autistic students to share their experiences of the educational needs of students on the autism spectrum. This study is now complete and you can find the Full Report here.

 

Students on the autism spectrum present unique challenges to school systems. The Australian Autism Educational Needs Analysis (ASD-ENA) project aims to produce the first Australian wide needs analysis of students on the spectrum (aged 5-16 years) and their educational needs. The needs analysis will collect information from 5 key stakeholder groups:

1. school administrators;

2. teachers and specialist support staff;

3. ancillary support staff such as teacher aides;

4. parents of students on the spectrum;  and

5. autistic students.

Using a mixed methods approach the needs analysis will use an Australian wide survey to obtain information from the 5 key stakeholder groups regarding the range of educational needs they identify students on the specrtrum  (5-16 years) as having within school settings. A specific focus of the analysis will also be to identify the more specific educational supports students on the spectrum with high impact social, emotional, behavioural and complex needs may present with. The survey will be followed up with the collection of more in depth qualitative data from focus groups with the 5 key stakeholder groups.

Key objectives of the project are:

1. To gain a comprehensive profile of the educational support needs of students on the spectrum.

2. To gain a comprehensive profile of the more individualised support needs of students on the spectrum with high impact social, emotional and behavioural needs

3. To identify the needs of educators to effectively manage and support students on the spectrum within educational settings and maintain a strong sense of school connectedness.

4. To identify the needs of educators to effectively manage and support students on the spectrum with complex needs within educational contexts and promote school

connectedness.

5. To describe the goals identified by parents, students and educators that form the basis of intervention and support of students with ASD with complex needs.

6. To identify

a) information gathering,

b) intervention processes and

c) models of service delivery including service delivery involving a suite of technology platforms that can be successfully utilised to meet the effectively support the needs of the students on the spectrum including those with complex needs and also meet the needs of the educational contexts.

Educators: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eRdMyDhS7o

Students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi3LtFydTwA

 

 

School Connectedness: Acceptance, Respect and Support

School connectedness can be explained as ‘the extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment’. To date there is no research on the effective ways of promoting school connectedness for autistic students. An obvious target for school connectedness is to promote an inclusive school culture and to work with teachers and school personnel. Using information from the Autism CRC Educational Needs Analysis project as a baseline, this project aims to explore experiences and perspectives of autistic students, their parents and teachers in urban, rural and remote schools and to implement a school connectedness program in South East Queensland schools to support an inclusive school culture at an individual student, family and school level. To test generalizability, the school connectedness program will be implemented in one New South Wales rural and remote school.This project has the following objectives:

(a) To identify student, parent and staff perspectives on their experiences of school connectedness in rural, remote and urban communities

(b) To determine individual, school, community and system factors which contribute to or threaten school connectedness for the participant groups in rural, remote and urban communities

(c) To identify the impact of culture and location on school connectedness in rural, remote and urban communities

(d) To develop a proof of concept prototype of the school connectedness program which draws on elements of the Index for Inclusion to support an inclusive school culture, and implements the Resourceful Adolescent Program at an individual student, family and school level in rural, remote and urban communities

(e) To implement and evaluate the school connectedness program prototype in nine urban school environments and one rural and remote school community

(f) To identify programs and adjustments to support school connectedness in rural, remote and urban locations


Project Objectives

a) Identify student, parent and staff perspectives on their experiences of school connectedness in rural, remote and urban communities.
b) Determine individual, school, community and system factors which contribute to or threaten school connectedness for the participant groups in rural, remote and urban communities.
c) Identify the impact of culture and location on school connectedness in rural, remote and urban communities.
d) Develop a proof of concept prototype of the school connectedness program which draws on elements of the Index for Inclusion (Booth & Ainscow, 2011) to support an inclusive school culture and implements the Resourceful Adolescent Program at an individual student, family and school level in rural, remote and urban communities.
e) Implement and evaluate the school connectedness program prototype in 9 urban school environments and 1 rural and remote school communities.
f) Identify programs and adjustments to support school connectedness in rural, remote and urban locations.


Research Program

School Years – Program 2

 

 

Education, Knowledge and Translation Project

This project aims to step outside of the single project utilisation brief and provide a whole-of-program solution to achieve timely and continuous transfer of knowledge from Autism CRC research outputs to educators and students with diverse learning needs. The project is designed to deliver two independent yet interrelated products:

(a) A knowledge transfer methodology which provides a flexible and supportive framework to support both the design and pedagogical integrity of content

(b) A dynamic eLearning web portal that meets the professional development and classroom resource needs of educators and diverse learners across all jurisdictions.

The educational marketplace has many stand-alone learning resources for teachers, parents and students. These resources generally address both niche and mainstream learning needs in an ad-hoc fashion but have little pedagogical rigour. There are currently few products or services in the market that address the holistic delivery of content in a pedagogically-sound way, or which adopt broader Universal Design for Learning philosophies.

Autism CRC tools are being developed in recognition of the immediacy of the needs of time-poor educators, and the outcomes from this project will provide a platform for access to the latest of such tools and learnings.


Research Program

School Years – Program 2

 

 

Early Years Behaviour Support Project

Autistic students present unique challenges to school systems and successful inclusion ensures these challenges are addressed and that the unique needs of autistic students are met. Challenging and complex behaviour is more frequent in children with autism, and without appropriate intervention these behaviours tend to persist across an individual’s lifespan. Positive behaviour support is one approach for reducing challenging behaviours that has received evidence-based support and is a comprehensive approach to assessment, planning and intervention for students who exhibit challenging behaviours. This project will be implemented in a range of settings with the explicit aim of developing a model to support the needs of autistic children and their complex needs. The overall aims of the projects are:

(a) To gain a comprehensive profile of the high impact social, emotional and behavioural needs of a sample of autistic early year learners and to assess the impact on their participation and engagement in educational settings

(b) To identify the needs of a sample of educators within educational contexts to effectively manage and support autistic early year learners with complex needs

(c) To describe the goals identified by a sample of parents, students and educators that form the basis of intervention and support of autistic early year learners with complex needs

(d) To identify information gathering, intervention processes and models of service delivery that can be successfully utilised – which will not only effectively support the complex needs of the students but also meet the needs of a range of educational contexts

(e) To identify inclusive educational applications that can support the needs of teachers, parents and students with autism with complex and challenging needs across a range of educational settings

(f) To develop, trial and evaluate innovative support practices using a suite of TCC practices through a multidisciplinary model within rural and remote regions of Australia

(g) To determine the outcomes of behavioural interventions and support in terms of goal attainment, client satisfaction (children parents, educators), skill acquisition, and mastery, participation and engagement for a sample of children in a range of educational contexts.


Project Objectives

This project will be implemented in a range of settings with the explicit aim of developing a model (which incorporates a TCC approach) to support the needs of children with ASD and complex needs. The overall aims of the program are to:

1. Gain a comprehensive profile of the high impact social, emotional and behavioural needs of a sample of early year learners with ASD and to assess the impact on their participation and engagement in educational settings;

2. Identify the needs of a sample of educators within educational contexts to effectively manage and support early year learners with ASD with complex needs;

3. Describe the goals identified by a sample of parents, students and educators that form the basis of intervention and support of early year learners with ASD with complex needs;

4. Identify information gathering and intervention processes and models of service delivery that can be successfully utilised which will not only effectively support the complex needs of the students but also meet the needs of a range of educational contexts;

5. Identify inclusive educational applications that can support the needs of teachers, parents and students with ASD with complex and challenging needs across a range of educational settings;

6. Develop, trial and evaluate innovative support practices using a suite of TCC practices through a multidisciplinary model within rural and remote regions of Australia; and Determine the outcomes of behavioural interventions and support in terms of goal attainment, client satisfaction (children parents, educators), skill acquisition, and mastery, participation and engagement for a sample of children in a range of educational contexts.


Research Program

School Years – Program 2


Funding / Grants

  • Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism

Team

Other Team Members