Den sociala situationen för ungdomar med autismspektrumtillstånd i ordinarie gymnasieklasser
Sammanfattning: There are few studies reporting the voices of adolescents with autism, especially concerning their situation in school. Most studies are about children with autism and from the perspectives of their parents or teachers. This study aimed to investigate how adolescents with autism experience the social situation in mainstream upper secondary schools and what success factors and challenges they raise about their social situation. The theoretical framework leans on Aspelin's relational pedagogy and Noddings's ethic of care. The study was conducted using a qualitative method with semistructured interviews with five students. This study intended to contribute to method development about interviewing young people with autism. I used visual support, adapted to the age of the respondent, in the interview. According to the result of this study, the social needs of young students with autism do not look like students without difficulties. In today's schools, there are many opportunities for communication and interaction, which belongs to the difficulties of these students. Students with autism are, according to this study, often alone or in the periphery of the classroom, and they have a smaller contact network and fewer friends than others. The students express that they do not need or want an extensive network of contacts where they interact and communicate; they are satisfied in a small context. However, it is crucial that they have a small context, that they have friendships and that they feel accepted by the class. Without social support and friendship relations, there is a risk of exclusion and bullying. Other challenges are all situations where a social network is needed, and when they need "to make their voices heard", for example, in group work and discussions. Another challenging situation where a social network is needed is the lunch situation. It is vital that there is a teacher in the classroom who meets the students with care, who listens and understands, has basic knowledge of autism and who adapts according to the student's needs and day-to-day shape. Adaptations that are highlighted by the students as successful are the opportunity for individual tasks, to present in smaller groups and the opportunity to withdraw during the day. These adaptations need to be made in dialogue with the student. These findings imply that schools need routines for students with autism. The routines need to ensure that there is always someone in the organization who has an extra responsibility for the social situation of the student because the social situation of these students is complex and vulnerable. Schools need to work at the organizational level to create an allowing atmosphere; teachers need education in autism and understand the importance of careful treatment.
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