'Just Ask Me': The Importance of Respectful Relationships Within Schools

Brownlow, Charlotte and Lawson, Wenn and Pillay, Yosheen and Mahony, Joanne and Abawi, Ding (2021) 'Just Ask Me': The Importance of Respectful Relationships Within Schools. Frontiers in Psychology, 12:678264. pp. 1-8.

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An inclusive approach to education requires schools and educators to address the support needs and individual predispositions of all students. Our research highlights the crucial importance of effective and respectful communication with autistic students to facilitate their successful participation in schools. This paper explores the experiences of 24 autistic individuals aged 16–67 years, through synchronous semi-structured interviews and written responses. The research team comprised both autistic and allistic (non-autistic) researchers, who worked together to design the overall project, collect interview data, and analyse the data. Relationships were frequently discussed by participants and the importance of positive relationships was positioned as key to successful participation within educational contexts. Particularly damaging were assumptions made by teachers concerning individual ability based on labels given. Participants recalled ongoing challenges with resisting stereotypes and managing stigma, while trying to craft a positive autistic identity and advocate for rightful supports for their education. At the core of these negotiations were positive relationships, and teachers who asked participants what their needs were, and then listened and proactively responded to their answers. Recommendations for more positive schooling engagements with autistic young people are provided.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2021 04:01
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 04:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: co-production, education, autistic identity, support, school, student experience, inclusion
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520102 Educational psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939907 Special Needs Education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1602 Schools and learning environments > 160203 Inclusive education
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.678264
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43724

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