BSc Education and Psychology.
I’m Ciara Boys, and I’m currently in my 3rd year studying BSc Education and Psychology at the University of Southampton. My dissertation is titled ‘To what extent does an autistic child’s behaviour differ between school and home? Children, teacher and parents’ perspectives’. From research and practice, we know that children on the autism spectrum can sometimes ‘mask’ their feelings and have a ‘façade’ that may hide their learning needs, especially in the school environment. By contrast, parents have noted their children do not hide their feelings at home as this is considered their ‘safe place’. We wanted to explore this issue from the perspectives of teachers, parents and children. Specifically, my project will:
- Study teachers’ and parents’ perspectives on autistic children’s behaviour and how this differs between different environments, particularly at home and at school;
- Explore whether children’s and parents experiences and perceptions differ from year R to year 6; and
- Investigate whether children are aware that their behaviour may change between home and school.
The study will be a qualitative case study design based at a Primary school in Southampton. Parents and teachers will participate in individual in-depth semi-structured interviews, and children will be observed in an unstructured manner in their classes school activities. Older children will also be asked about their experiences using a cue card activity. You can read in detail about the project’s findings here.