“We Have to Start with Inclusion and Work it Out as We Go”: Teacher practices in supporting verbal and non-verbal students with Autism.
- Christi Kasa-Hendrickson, Assistant Professor, School of Education at Chapman University &
- Paula Kluth, Ιndependent consultant and scholar in Oak Park, Illinois
In this qualitative study Christi Kasa-Hendrickson and Paula Kluth, examine and analyze the experiences of five teachers in educating verbal and non-verbal students with Autism. As the authors note “the opportunities for students with autism to experience membership in the inclusive classroom are limited”, and this study focuses on understanding how teachers make their classrooms work for these students and the process that they engage in order to make purposeful inclusion as part of their teaching practices. The study’s findings suggest that teachers’ thoughtful planning and systematic teaching created successful educational experiences for six non-verbal students with autism. Their teaching practices involved around the principles of establishing a community, making their classrooms accessible, working constructively through the challenges but mainly by viewing the work of designing inclusive practices as part of their daily routine.