Parental views on special educational needs provision: cross-syndrome comparisons in Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jo Van Herwegen, Maria Ashworth, Olympia Palikara

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Background: The current study examined parents’ views about their child’s education provision for children with Williams syndrome (WS), Down syndrome (DS), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Aims: This cross-syndrome comparison explored the specific and general difficulties that parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders experience about their child’s educational provision. Methods and procedures: Parents of children aged 4 to 18;11 years old, including 99 with WS, 88 with DS, and 82 with ASD completed a survey. Outcomes and Results: Children with DS were more likely to access mainstream settings during primary school and 1-to-1 support compared to those with WS and ASD. Parental satisfaction was lowest for those with ASD but all parents mentioned concerns about professionals’ knowledge of how to support children with SEND in the school. There were also group differences for access to specialist support but overall access to occupational therapy and mental health was low. Conclusions and Implications: In contrast to previous studies, educational provision and satisfaction with educational provision are syndrome-specific. These results also highlight the need for training and raising awareness about the specific needs of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, our findings suggest improved communication between parents and the school is required about the type of support children with SEND are receiving.

© 2018, Elsevier Ltd. The attached document (embargoed until 06/07/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in Research in Developmental Disabilities 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)102-111
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Early online date6 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2018

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