Intensive Interaction in the mainstream classroom: evaluating staff attitudes towards an inclusive socio-communicative intervention
This study addressed the effective, ethical inclusion of pupils with autism, aged 5 to 7 years, in mainstream education. It evaluated a group intervention designed to enable both class teachers and teaching assistants to use Intensive Interaction daily within the classroom. A multi-strategy approach was used, which included structured observations, focus groups and questionnaires. Data analysis showed that pupils and staff enjoyed the intervention and that it was effective in developing their relationships and social communication. However, it was found to be impractical due to staff busyness in response to the demands of the National Curriculum. The study concluded that changes are needed in the preparedness, deployment and practice of staff to create communication enabling classroom environments. A pedagogical style that combines reciprocal responsiveness with intrinsically motivating learning activities for all children was recommended, within a more flexible approach to the National Curriculum, in preference to additional interventions for children with autism.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2015
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