WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES THAT CHILDREN WITH AUTISM HAVE IN SPECIAL SCHOOL? Research proposal form Name: Title: What are the advantages and disadvantages that children with autism have in special school? Research Questions: 1) What is the extent of performance improvement among the children with autism after joining special schools? 2) What are the difficulties faced by teachers in special schools taking care of children with autism? 3) What challenges are posed by educating children with autism in special schools? Key research articles: 1) Broun, L. T. (2004). “Teaching Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders to Read”, Teaching Exceptional Children, Vol. 36, Iss: 4, pp. 36-40. 2) Gray, D. E. (1994) “Coping with Autism – Stresses and Strategies”. Sociology of Health & Illness, Vol. 16, Iss: 3, pp. 275-300. 3) Vriend, J.L., Corkum, P.V., Moon, E.C. and Smith, I.M. (2011) “Behavioral Interventions for Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Current Findings and Future Directions”. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Vol. 36, Iss: 9, pp. 1017-1029.
Domain: I expect to carry out this study in the Tettenhall Wood Special School which is a special school where I am on a volunteer placement. I am expecting to be accorded the permission to conduct my study in this school mainly because of the importance of this study to teachers, administrators and policy makers in the special education sector. In addition, I expect that the letter which I have written to the head teacher of the school seeking permission to conduct this study within the school will be convincing enough to allow the head teacher give me the permission to go ahead and carryout the study. Data collection methods: This research will be qualitative and the desired information will be mainly collected through questionnaires. I will use questionnaires to address research questions 1, 2 and 3 with 5 teachers individually. Therefore, the five teachers who will be randomly picked for participation in answering the questionnaires will be supposed to answer all the questions that will be indicated in the questionnaire. Questionnaires are essential research instruments which consist of a series of questions aimed at gathering information from the research respondents. The questionnaires will be answered by the teachers individually. A questionnaire will be used because it is one of the most powerful research tools used in the collection of qualitative data and it consists of short questions formulated to suit the data needs of the researcher. However, in this study closed questionnaire will be used where the respondents will only be required to provide a specific answer to the asked questions. The questions will be structured in a way such that the desired data will be collected. The advantage of this type of questionnaire is that the collected data is usually organised and this makes its analysis faster and easier. In addition, questionnaires are very cost effective when used for data collection since little time and labour is required. However, the major weakness of using questionnaires in data collection is that it is not possible to determine whether a respondent is truthful in his/her answers. Validity: The validity of this study will be carried out using a pilot study. For instance, prior to designing the final questionnaire a pilot study will be conducted among three teachers who will be randomly picked from Tettenhall Wood Special School where the study will be conducted. However, the participation of the teachers in the pilot study will not be a guarantee of their participation in answering the questionnaires which will be used to collect the final information. Conducting the pilot study will be essential in ensuring that I get an overview of the questions that I will be expected to include in the questionnaire. Therefore, the pilot study will be used to evaluate the feasibility of the study and the data to be collected in order to ensure method and questions behind the research are sound. Hence the data collected from the pilot study will give an overview of the envisaged results in the final study. It will also be essential in refining the research questions and methods to be used in collecting the information. Ethics: In order to ensure that ethics are adhered to during the study, various ethical issues will be considered. This will mainly involve getting informed consent from the teachers as well as ensuring that the information obtained is confidential. Ethical issues are always supposed to be prioritised throughout the study with the aim of making sure that no violation of human rights which occurs during the study. Stringent adherence to necessary ethical issues ensures that the credibility of the study is improved while at the same time promoting reliability and validity of the collected data. For instance, during this study I will ensure that informed consent is obtained from all the subjects selected to participate in the study. This means that the selected teachers will be provided with all the information which they will require in order for them to decide whether they want to be involved in the study or not. This informed choice will be voluntary and it will involve providing information concerning all the procedures that will take place during the study. Therefore, the subjects will be required to sign a consent form after accepting to be included in the study. The other ethical issue which will be considered in this study is ensuring that the information collected from the teachers is confidential. Adherence to high levels of confidentiality in a study is very crucial since it completely prevents unauthorised access to the information already collected from the study subjects. This will also be accompanied by an assurance to the teachers that the information collected will only be used in the explained study but not any other use. In addition, the study will not include children subjects and it will mainly focus of adult teachers who are not considered a vulnerable group. This will be essential since it provides an assurance that the participants in the study will provide reliable information.
Appendices 1) Permission letter Lisa Tettenhall Wood Special School P.O. Box………. 25th April 2012. To: The Headteacher, Tettenhall Wood Special School P.O. Box………. Dear Mr. M. Monhoney, RE: PERMISSION TO CONDUCT STUDY IN YOUR SCHOOL I am hereby writing to you seeking for permission to conduct a research in your school. My research will involve conducting an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages posed by educating children with autism in special schools. The research will also seek to find out the difficulties faced by teachers in special schools that deal with children with autism. I intent to interview five teachers who will be randomly picked from your school through a semi structured interview. The teachers picked to participate in the interview will be required to answer six questions about the topic of my research. Due to a few number of participants required to take part in my research by answering only six questions through an interview, it means that I will only take limited time from the teachers. I assure you and other school stakeholders that I will carry out my research without any interruptions to the normal operations of the school. In addition, the research will not involve participation of the children with autism to enable adherence to ethical issues. Am highly optimistic that you will consider my request and grant me the permission to conduct this essential study within your school and I promise to cooperate with you and the school administration whenever I am required to do so. Yours Faithfully, Lisa. 2) Data Collection Method (DCM) 1. What are the difficulties you often face as you teach children with autism? 2. Does admission of children with autism in special schools improve their performance? 3. What needs to be done differently by the special schools in order to improve academic performance of children with autism? 4. How does educating children with autism in special schools impact on their behaviour? 5. How can be abilities of children with autism be improved in special schools? 6. What challenges do you face as teachers for children with autism?
7. How are the challenges faced when teaching children with autism in special schools addressed? 8. What are the barriers that the children with autism have to overcome in order to succeed in their studies? 9. How are the teachers in special school dealing with children with autism prepared to deal with the behaviors of these children? 10. Are special schools in England adequately prepared to address challenges posed by teaching children with autism?