The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Teacher’s Perspectives on Supporting Social Communication Competency for Autistic Students through Evidence-Based Practices

Maria Dervan, Mary Immaculate College (Ireland)

Emer Ring, Mary Immaculate College - University of Limerick (Ireland)

Margaret Egan, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick (Ireland)


In education research there is a firm belief that reflecting on inclusive pedagogy is imperative for teachers, as effective inclusion means considering the childs’ needs on all levels and adopting appropriate practices to meet these needs in schools [1]. The appropriate practices recommended for teachers of autistic children should have a research base, with evidence of their effectiveness to show what works effectively for autistic children. Such practices are termed evidence-based practices (EBPs). The researcher is concerned with exploring such EBPs, employed by teachers, to facilitate social communication competency, as this is of considerable significance to the profile of autistic children. The 2016 study on ‘Education Provision For Children With Autism Spectrum [Difference] In Ireland’ states, that ‘excellent practices, if appropriately documented, would provide a guide for new teachers and a support for those in the school new to working with students with Autism Spectrum Difference (ASD)’ [2] This research emerges from such a rationale. Social communication is acknowledged as a significant priority learning need for children with ASD, nationally and internationally. Notably, the research is discussed against the backdrop of the socio-cultural theory of learning which frames the study. The guiding principles of the More Knowledgeable Other and the Zone of Proximal Development as termed by the theorist Lev Vygotsky  [3] focus the study on the EBPs that are successfully used by teachers to support children with ASD. This presentation will disseminate key findings from a national survey that detail the perspectives of Irish teachers in relation to their role and experiences using EBPs to support social communication competency.

Keywords Autism, evidence-based practices, special education 

[1] … Lerner, J.W. and Johns, B.H., 2015. Learning disabilities and related disabilities. Strategies for success. United States of America: Cengage Learning.
[2] … Ring, E., Daly, P., Egan, M., Fitzgerald, J., Griffin, C., Long, S., McCarthy, E., Moloney, M., O’Brien, T., O’Byrne, A. and O’Sullivan, S., 2016. An evaluation of education provision for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ireland.
[3]... Santrock, J.W., 2018. Educational Psychology New York City. NY: McGraw Hill.
… [Arial, 10 point]


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