An Exploration of What Adolescent Girls with ASC Say Helps Them Successfully Navigate the Social Aspects of Mainstream Schooling

Prof Doc Thesis


Pickup, H. 2021. An Exploration of What Adolescent Girls with ASC Say Helps Them Successfully Navigate the Social Aspects of Mainstream Schooling. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89w1w
AuthorsPickup, H.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Historically, there has been presumed to be a male bias in the diagnosis of ASC, however recent research has started to focus on the possibility that some females with ASC may have a different phenotype to males and present with different characteristics, and therefore needs. Additionally, these girls may mask autistic traits, giving the external appearance of coping and risking girls not being diagnosed or not being given the support they need. Adolescence appears to be a particularly significant time for these girls as social interactions become more complex, impacting on friendships and learning. This study took a participatory approach to investigate what helps adolescent girls with ASC succeed in the social aspects of mainstream schooling. Five participants (Years 7-8) were recruited as co-researchers, choosing which areas of school to focus on during data collection, verifying analysis and making decisions about the dissemination of findings. Their recounts of their experiences at school were analysed using a deductive thematic analysis to identify and interpret what they considered helpful. Their ideas indicated their motivation for autonomy, competence and relatedness and reflected a desire to be understood and have a good fit with their environment. Relationships with others and clarity in expectations appeared key for creating a positive school experience. Some participants also indicated a use of personal insight and consideration of others’ motivations in developing their understanding and ability to manage at school. Participants valued their role as co-researchers, indicating personal benefit and feelings of empowerment in their feedback. Evaluation of the procedure showed that participatory research with these students is feasible and successful and it will be beneficial to promote community participation in future research and school practice. It is hoped that these findings will contribute to this new area of research and inform support for girls with ASC at multiple levels.

KeywordsASC; girls; school; social; participatory
Year2021
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89w1w
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Anyone
Publication dates
Online27 Sep 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted28 Jun 2021
Deposited27 Sep 2021
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