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A synthesis of the quantitative literature on autistic pupils' experience of barriers to inclusion in mainstream schools

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Baker, ST 


jats:pAutistic pupils' full engagement with education can be limited by characteristics of their autism and features of the learning environment. We sought to identify which barriers to inclusion are most commonly and most frequently experienced and where gaps exist in the quantitative literature. In this systematic review, we followed the PRISMA guidelines to identify relevant literature and used the Research Domain Criteria (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017) framework to synthesise the findings. We then evaluated the strength and quality of the current literature in terms of the perspectives reflected in the data, characteristics of the participants and the methods used. Forty‐eight studies were found that contained quantitative data directly collected from autistic pupils relating to their mainstream school experience. Experiences of friendship, anxiety and sensory sensitivity have been explored in the literature, with findings suggesting that difficulties in these areas are common for autistic pupils. We found gaps in the research in the domains of cognitive systems, negative affect, positive affect, arousal and sensorimotor processes. Further quantitative research is needed that directly reflects the pupils' experience and more thoroughly covers the relevant focal domains in which barriers to inclusion for autistic pupils may be expected to occur.</jats:p>



autism, quantitative, mainstream school, inclusion

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Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs

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