Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

An Exploration of Teacher Perceptions of the Use of Social Support for Students with ASD
Jamie Gledhill, Janet L. Currie

This qualitative case study explored teachers’ perspectives of social support and its use in primary classrooms for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Data collected from a series of two in-depth, semi-structured interviews with two primary teachers were transcribed, coded and analysed. Four main themes emerged characterising teacher perspectives, including; (a) Teacher’s Perceptions of Students with ASD and Benefits of Social Support, (b) Importance of Professional Communication and Practice, (c) Fostering Understanding and Acceptance and (d) Practical Strategies Recommended for Use Within the Classroom. Participants indicated strong support, in congruence with the wider research literature, demonstrating a high regard and agreement for the use of social support in the classroom for students with ASD. Further research, promotion and evaluation of the use of social support strategies is recommended so primary teachers can best provide students with ASD the opportunities to foster and develop their social confidence, skills and academic growth.

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