Exploration into the adaptations made to physical education lessons within special educational needs schools for children with autism
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this study was to explore further the adaptations made to physical education (PE) for children with autism in special educational needs (SEN) schools. With a particular focus on the strategies and interventions used to encourage inclusive practice in PE. The study was based around all staff members within the PE department to gain a full insight into how the children are supported with physical education and physical development. The study was conducted with four participants; A PE teacher, physical curriculum team leader, occupational therapist (OT) and occupational therapist assistant (OTA)/yoga instructor. Each participant was interviewed with a semi-structured interview guide to thoroughly engage in all experiences, thoughts and feelings of the participants. Five main themes were critically analysed; training, adaptations to lessons, life skills, teaching methods and occupational therapist input. The study identified the main adaptations to enhance learning in PE lessons were through the use of interventions and strategies and the break-down of skills. Occupational therapy was very important within the school especially with behaviour management and anxiety control for the children. The staff were all trained in SEN studies for children and therefore felt their training was efficient however experience was most valued source of information when learning how to deal effectively with the different levels of anxiety and behaviour autistic children have. To increase knowledge and understanding in this area studies could compare different SEN schools and their strategies to encourage inclusive practice in PE. The current study was focused on a school specifically for children with autism and used a small but specific sample size, future research could increase the sample size to broaden the research further
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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