Peer-group indicators of social inclusion among pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) in mainstream secondary schools: A comparative study

Wendy Symes, Neil Humphrey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The number of pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) attending mainstream schools is increasing, but there is evidence that their needs may not be fully met. Previous research has suggested that such pupils are at an increased risk of social exclusion. In light of this, the aim of the current study was to examine the sociometric status, perceived levels of peer social support, and the frequency of bullying experienced by this group of learners. Our sample comprised 40 pupils with ASD, 40 pupils with dyslexia, and a reference group of 40 pupils with no identified special educational needs, matched by age and gender (and, for the ASD and dyslexic groups, the stage of the SEN Code of Practice). Participants completed the Social Support Scale for Children (Harter, 1985) and the My Life in School Questionnaire (Arora & Thompson, 1987), and their peers completed the Social Inclusion Survey (Frederickson & Graham, 1999). Our analyses indicated that pupils with ASD experienced higher levels of rejection and lower levels of acceptance than either reference group. They also reported lower levels of peer social support and higher levels of bullying. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research and the efficacy of the inclusion movement. © The Author(s) 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchool Psychology International|Sch. Psychol. Int.
Pages478-494
Number of pages16
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventNational Association of School Psychologist Annual Convention - Chicago, USA
Duration: 1 Jan 1824 → …

Conference

ConferenceNational Association of School Psychologist Annual Convention
CityChicago, USA
Period1/01/24 → …

Keywords

  • autistic spectrum disorders
  • bullying
  • inclusive education
  • peer group
  • social support

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