‘I’m ready for a new chapter’: The voices of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders in transition to post-16 education and employment.

Carolina Gaona, Olympia Palikara, Susana Castro

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This study explores the views and experiences of 12 young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders in transition to post-16 education and employment, in light of the changes introduced by new special educational needs and disability legislation in England. The extension of provision until the age of 25, and the introduction of person-centred Education Health and Care plans have given a significant place to the views of young people with special needs and disabilities and their families. The views, wishes and aspirations of young people must be captured in the newly developed plans, reflecting on the statutory requirement for local authorities to systematically record these in a biopsychosocial way, focusing on participation and well-being. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with the young people. These were analysed inductively, through thematic analysis, followed by deductive content analysis using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as a coding framework to explore the functioning domains that emerged from the themes. Findings suggest that at the time of transition, young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder want to become increasingly more independent, present ambivalent feelings about their future, and acknowledge the relevance of support systems in their lives. The analysis of these views and experiences is enhanced in detail by the breadth of ICFCY codes identified in the emerged themes. These issues are discussed in light of the biopsychosocial model of functioning and health proposed by the World Health Organisation as an approach to special needs and disability, and the new English policy context.

© 2018, British Educational Research Association. The attached document (embargoed until 12/06/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-30
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2018

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