Improving emotional understanding in children with autism

Soler, Jeanette Galea (2013). Improving emotional understanding in children with autism. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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A small-scaled qualitative pilot study, using a multiple case-study design, was carried out with three primary mainstream schools within the West Midlands to explore how emotional understanding is taught to pupils with autism. Research questions focused on identifying strategies and/or programmes utilized to teach emotional understanding and priority areas for teaching. Data was garnered from interviews and documentary analysis of teaching resources. Findings indicated that emotional understanding was mainly targeted through whole-classroom approaches, the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL), or Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS), and through mixed small-group social skills programmes. Schools also drew on principles and strategies, outlined by autism-related literature. While all areas in emotional understanding were being addressed, expression and management of own emotions were considered as priority areas. Future directions for research indicated the importance of extending this pilot study into a major study, and examining the effectiveness of whole-school and social skills programmes adopted by schools in improving the emotional understanding of pupils with autism. The teaching of emotional understanding to pupils with autism is clearly an area which needs to be explored further by researchers, which is ideally done alongside teaching staff so as to impact upon practice within schools.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > L Education (General)


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