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Res Dev Disabil. 2019 Jun 24;91:103422. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2019.05.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Views of professionals about the educational needs of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Human Development, UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom. Electronic address: j.vanherwegen@ucl.ac.uk.
2
Department of Psychology and Human Development, UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom.
3
School of Education, University of Roehampton, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Professionals play a key role in supporting children with special educational needs in schools. However, the views of those working with neurodevelopmental disorders are less known.

AIMS:

This study examined the views of professionals (including teachers, teaching assistants, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, physio and occupational therapists etc.) working with children with Williams Syndrome (WS), Down Syndrome (DS) or with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in terms of how informed professionals are about the disorder and their views about the type of support these children need to be receiving.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

Professionals working with 77 children with ASD, 26 with DS and 38 with WS completed an online questionnaire.

OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:

Professionals in all three groups highlighted relevant areas of difficulty for these children, but they did not recognise some of the less phenotypical difficulties that children with a specific disorder may experience. In addition, there was a disconnect between the difficulties identified by the professionals and the type of specialist support that may be necessary.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Although professionals have a lot of knowledge about the specific neurodevelopmental disorders, further evidence-based training would allow more effective support for children with neurodevelopmental disorders in the classroom but also equip professionals better and raise their confidence in meeting these children's needs.

KEYWORDS:

Autism Spectrum disorders; Down syndrome; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Professionals; SEND support; Williams syndrome

PMID:
31247387
DOI:
10.1016/j.ridd.2019.05.001

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