School Readiness in Children with ASD in UK, USA and Australia. Analytical Review
Objectives. The growing number of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) entering the education system reveals the unpreparedness of modern school for the education of such children. Our aim is to identify the leading modern trends in school preparation for the ASD children in such countries as UK, USA and Australia.
Methods. The review and analysis were aimed at the modern educational practices and programs of support to preschoolers (from 3—4 years) and primary school students with ASD in the UK, USA and Australia . A bibliographic search by the following keywords was used: ASD, school readiness, inclusion, children with special education needs. The following issues were analyzed: problems solved within the framework of the program, target audiences receiving support, main tasks and methods of their solution.
Results. The main difficulties in the adapting to the school situation were revealed: self—regulation and challenging behavior, inclusion in the joint activities, interaction. The ways to overcome these difficulties are reported: special training and support programs for schoolchildren, “extended childhood”, staff training etc. The examples of successful practices are given. Authors discuss on the question of which educational conditions are important for the integration of a child with ASD into a main stream school. The popular pre-school programs in the USA, Great Britain and Australia are described: “Head Start”, “Boston Universal Pre-K”, “TeachTown”, “Aspect”, “ASD Nest Program”.
Conclusions. School preparation is a comprehensive issue for the ASD children which includes academic, social and behavioral components. Most researchers single out not the academic, but the emotional and social unpreparedness of a child as the main problem field. The leading trends towards creating conditions for school preparation of ASD children are: special organization of the learning process, continuity in the work of preschool and school education staff, interaction of school and family specialists.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorders (ASD); school preparation for ASD children; inclusion; social skills; school disadaptation; social interaction; academic skills; school readiness
Journal rubric: Education & Intervention Methods
Article type: scientific article
Funding. The article was prepared as part of the project of the Sberbank Charitable Foundation “Contribution to the Future” to create a scientific, methodological and educational center in the field of special education on the basis of the Center for Curative Pedagogics “Special Childhood”, Moscow
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