Involving Young People with ASD in Organising their Examination Access Arrangements

  • Beverley Tyrrell

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


Facilitating opportunities for children and young people to be involved in the decisions made about them fits with current legislation (United Nations, 1989), and has been found to improve motivation and self-esteem (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008; Griebler and Nowak 2012). The researcher asserts that, due to the nature of their difficulties, people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be prone to lack such opportunities. Examination access arrangements decisions are the focus of the study described in the second paper. The first paper describes a systematic literature review of methods used to elicit the views of students with ASD. The second paper reports a case-based action research project which involves students in organising their examination access arrangements. Participants include three year 7 students and two members of staff across two secondary schools. There is a lack of research which includes the views of those with ASD. Semi-structured interviews seemed to be the most popular data gathering method, but focus groups and electronic diaries have also been used with this group. There was a positive impact of involving students with ASD in organising their access arrangements. Advice was given regarding coping with resource limitations in this area, and provision commonly useful for students with ASD before and during examinations. More research is needed which involves participants with ASD and reflection on the suitability of their methods for this group. Findings from the action research project indicate that involving young people with ASD in deciding on their examination access arrangements can support more comprehensive identification of assessment needs. In order to increase the impact of this research, the findings were disseminated using the strategies outlined to those who may have a role in putting the findings into practice.
Date of Award31 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKevin Woods (Supervisor) & Kathleen Tyldesley (Supervisor)


  • pupil
  • student
  • child
  • participation
  • ASD
  • views
  • autism
  • access arrangements

Cite this