Student X has had a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) since 2004. X is diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum. I started the case study with little knowledge of Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) therefore wanted to develop my knowledge of ASD, the challenges students face and what is written about the way schools and teachers can help them overcome them; creating an inclusive learning environment in line with the recommendations made by UNESCO in The Salamanca Statement:
'adopt as a matter of law or policy the principle of inclusive education and enrol all children in ordinary schools unless there were compelling reasons
for doing otherwise' . (UNESCO, 1994)
The resulting changes to education policy in the UK are stated in the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, 'lessons should be planned to ensure that there are no barriers'(DoE, 2013) and reinforced in the SEN Code of practice, ‘Provision for pupils with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole...all members of staff have important responsibilities’ (Dfes, 2001b). As part of their inspections of schools, Ofsted inspectors will, 'consider how well...students with special educational needs have achieved since starting the school' (Ofsted, 2014). With this in mind, it is not only with personal curiosity and moral obligations that I enter the case study of my practice, but also to meet the statutory requirements of my future profession. Reflecting on this point, alongside the view that UK mainstream schools are seeing a significant increase in ASD diagnosed students within their population (Keen and Ward, 2004), ASD is an area of SEN that I believe will play an important part in my future practice.
When considering the focus of my case study I began by considering the recommendations made by the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Health in ‘Autistic Disorder Spectrum: Good Practice Guidance’ (Dfes, 2002). Two...