Teaching learners with autism in the South African inclusive classroom: Pedagogic strategies and possibilities

African Journal of Disability 1 (11):1-12 (2022)
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Background: Although inclusive education is widely discussed, its implementation has not, arguably, been far-reaching. There remains a lack of specific, targeted approaches towards fully including learners with physical and mental impairments in the educational space. Objectives: This study investigated the extent of the inclusion of learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in three schools in Johannesburg. Method: A qualitative interpretivist design was adopted. Teachers who work with learners with ASD were interviewed using open-ended questions. The sampled data were analysed using thematic analysis, making use of both a priori codes and emergent codes that arose from the open-ended questions. Results: The findings reveal numerous pedagogic strategies such as differentiation, scaffolding, use of visual cues, group work and collaboration that can include learners with ASD in the classroom space. Conclusion: Teacher collaboration and teacher training are vital in ensuring that learners with ASD are fully included in the classroom space.
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