Ondersteuning vir die aanleer van sosiale lewensvaardighede deur outistiese leerders
Theron, Johanna Elizabeth
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The White Paper 6: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System (Department of Education, 2001:6) has paved the way for the establishment and implementation of inclusive education in South Africa. Learners with special needs who were previously excluded from mainstream education and who were accommodated in special schools, now have to have access to mainstream schools, according to the Whitepaper 6. Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are one of the groups with special education needs that have to be accommodated in mainstream and full-service schools. The number of learners diagnosed with ASD who are attending mainstream and full-service schools are increasing rapidly (Autism South Africa, 2012:3). Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder characterised by severe problems with regard to social and communication skills, which make comfortable interaction with others difficult (American Psychiatric Association, 2013:50). The primary aim of this study was to determine how learners with ASD could be supported with the learning of social life skills. Several secondary research objectives, underlying the primary research goal, were also formulated. A literature study and empirical investigation were executed to reach the primary and secondary research goals. The literature study focused on ASD; the social life skills of people diagnosed with this disorder; the social problems experienced by autistic learners; as well as support programmes and methods of intervention that can be used to support autistic learners in their learning of social life skills. The empirical investigation was based on a qualitative approach. Ten teachers, who teach learners diagnosed with ASD, were interviewed by means of semi-structured interviews. The verbatim quotes were analysed and the following findings emerged concerning the primary research question: To support autistic learners optimally with their learning of social life skills, they ought to be taught by teachers who have specialised knowledge and experience in teaching autistic learners. The acquisition of group, emotional, behavioural and communication skills need to be emphasised. A multiprofessional approach ought to be followed in the development and/or presentation of social life skills programmes for autistic learners. Based on the findings that emerged from the empirical investigation, recommendations were further made regarding the manner in which autistic learners can be supported in their learning of social life skills.
- Education