Gathering the views of children and young people with ASD: a systematic literature review

Beverley Tyrrell, Kevin Woods

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Responding to children’s expressed needs and preferences can improve their self‐esteem and motivation for learning. However, some groups of children and young people may find it more difficult to express their needs and preferences. This article reviews the research evidence on methods used to gather the views of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who may have particular difficulties with social communication. From research databases, 20 relevant studies were identified. Semi‐structured interview was a frequently used method, but may be better suited to older, or more academically able, students. The effectiveness of interview methods can be improved by offering the student choice of interview location, by reducing distractions, and by the use of visual aids. Other potentially suitable methods included: oral, written or electronic diaries; use of drawings; use of photographs taken by the student; use of focus groups; and use of individually administered survey questionnaires. More focused evaluation by future researchers of the suitability of data‐gathering methods for participants with ASD would allow broader conclusions to be drawn about which methods work best and for whom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-328
JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
Issue number3
Early online date22 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018


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