An Exploration of How Autistic Young People Are Positioned in Their Person-Centred Annual Review

Prof Doc Thesis

Power, J. 2019. An Exploration of How Autistic Young People Are Positioned in Their Person-Centred Annual Review. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsPower, J.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Young people with autism spectrum condition (ASC) are considered to be particularly vulnerable to poor transition outcomes. Historically, ASC has been conceptualised within a medical model which has resulted in a discourse of deficits surrounding the condition. Critics argue that such discourses have resulted in the lack of involvement of autistic young people in making key decisions which affect their lives. Person-centred Planning (PCP), with its roots in the social model of disability, is advocated as being a powerful tool which can empower young people to exercise greater personal agency and control over how key decisions are made. There is some evidence which demonstrates the efficacy of PCP approaches for this population. However, little is known about the complex social processes underlying Person-centred Annual Reviews (PCARs). The current research aimed to explore these underlying social processes through the use of Positioning Theory, which acted as both a conceptual model and theoretical framework. Participants included two transition-aged autistic young people, their families and three key members of school staff. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and analysed using a Critical Discursive Psychology approach. Analysis revealed that PCARs have the potential to offer a social context in which new knowledge is co-constructed and where a climate of empowerment and enhanced personal agency can be engendered. However, adults’ constructions of autism represent a possible barrier to the promotion of young people’s voice, choice and control. Implications for EP practice at the individual, family and organisational level are discussed.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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Online24 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Jul 2020
SubmittedJul 2019
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