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Eliciting the views of young people with autism on being spoken for: Exploring 'voice'.

Barlow, Linzi (2019) Eliciting the views of young people with autism on being spoken for: Exploring 'voice'. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Existing research and educational policy stress the importance of the voice of young people. In response to personal experiences as a mother of a child with autism and often speaking for my son, this study explores the views of young people with autism regarding being spoken for using a narrative methodology and thematic analysis. Existing research indicates that social engagement from children with autism would rarely happen without mediation from adults (Bauminger & Shulman, 2003). Calder et al. (2013) stress the need for caution regarding the degree of adult involvement in the social encounters of children with autism. Insider accounts from individuals with autism inform us that being coerced into social interaction can be detrimental. The main aim of the research was to elicit the narratives of young people with autism regarding being spoken for by others in order to generate via thematic analysis the implications to consider when speaking for young people with autism. This research elicited the narratives of five young people with autism who attended an IR provision within a Local Authority in the North of England. Data was collected through individual sessions with each participant using storyboards and activity sheets within a semi-structured interview session and the aid of narrative-oriented prompts. Themes evoked from this research suggest that adults’ consideration of context is key when speaking for young people with autism. Results highlight the need for adults to be aware of forces of control and power that can impact on perceptions of ability, feelings of anxiety and confidence. Feelings of unhappiness and annoyance were reported by participants when these factors had not been carefully considered. Being sensitive to knowing and understanding the needs of young people with autism is essential. Participants reported positive feelings when the above factors had been considered and being spoken for was carried out sensitively. Being mindful of the implications raised in this study when working with and speaking for young people with autism will help to ensure that we are aiming to work supportively and as advocates for individuals with autism. Key words: autism; voice; young people; support; pupil views; qualitative research methods; narrative; thematic analysis; professional practice.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.784722
Depositing User: Dr Linzi Barlow
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 08:12
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24765

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