Promoting the Social Inclusion of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder via Mobile Technologies
ClassificationEducation--Curriculum and Instruction
students with ASD
communication and social skills
case study research
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopment disorder in Canada, and approximately 1 out of 66 children is identified with ASD in Canada. Children with autism demonstrate impairments in language, communication skills, and social interactions; hence, these children have difficulties with communicating and interacting socially with their peers, educators, and parents. One of the latest interventions is the use of mobile technologies in assisting children with ASD in developing their social, communication, language, and other educational skills required for their academic success. However, social inclusion of these students in the classroom is still challenging. Hence, there is a need to determine effective ways of integrating mobile technologies in the classroom in order to promote the social inclusion of students with ASD. Using case study research, this mixed method study explored how students with ASD are socially included in the learning activities using mobile technologies and the impact on educators and parents. Educators, other education professionals, and parents participated in surveys and one-on-one interviews to provide further insights about their experiences in meeting students’ communication, social, language, and educational needs via mobile technologies. Analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data resulted into four emerging themes: (a) a balanced learning model where social inclusion of students with ASD is supported through the balance between mobile technologies and personal interaction; (b) resources and supports such as open educational resources, funding to support mobile technologies, evidence-based knowledge on mobile technologies, and training for all stakeholders are necessary in creating a socially inclusive environment for students with ASD; (c) goal oriented and needs-based usage where mobile technologies are used for addressing the needs of students with ASD and for achieving a particular goal or purpose in education; and (d) a team oriented approach that involves collaboration among students, parents, school administrators, educators, other education professionals, and various stakeholders in promoting the social inclusion via mobile technologies. The findings from this research study indicated various aspects (promoters) that are important in promoting the social inclusion of students with ASD via mobile technologies. Through these promoters, effective levels of social inclusion can be achieved where students’ communication, social, language, and educational needs are addressed sufficiently.
CitationPira, R. (2021). Promoting the social inclusion of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder via mobile technologies (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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