But to what extent is this possible; and what else needs to be done Truthfully, a lot more needs to be done for these methods of inclusive education to be successful. Some areas have excellent access to schooling systems equipped to teach children with autistic spectrum disorders while others have no provisions to handle these disabilities. This paper will look at some of the methods that have been researched worldwide, which of these methods are currently available, and how accessible these methods are to the children today in the United Kingdom. Strategies and ideas of what else needs to be done will also be discussed, as will be the results these methods have had to those children who have been lucky enough to gain access to inclusive education.
Autism is used to refer to a group of neurological disorders. These disorders interfere with the development of a child's behavioural and social communications skills (McLelland, 1999); often leaving the child to be seen as withdrawn-as though he or she is living enclosed in a world all alone. Autistic children frequently show impressive abilities, such as playing music with no mistakes after only hearing a piece once; however, these abilities are sometimes shadowed by a difficulty with speaking and perfecting some motor skills. These difficulties are commonly coupled with a seeming inability to effectively relate to others (McLelland, 1999). Autistic spectrum disorders, including Rett's Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, have had a large effect on the classroom due to the lack of understanding and knowledge about the disorder. Because of some apparent disabilities, many autistic children find that they need some supervision throughout their lives. This constant need for supervision can make teaching in formal institutions difficult as autistic children need much more attention than healthy children without disabilities (McLelland, 1999). The question stands, though, as to what extent the need to become inclusive has been met.
Forty-five teachers in the United States were surveyed regarding their students with Asperger's Syndrome and the behaviours of those students in relation to the interaction received by their respective teachers (Hartman, 2001). The study was implemented to compare the behavioural interruptions or problems between autistic children in a special education environment versus those in a general education. Many of the problems found were abrupt interruptions, agitation, victimization, and difficulty following oral instructions. Other problems frequently included distractibility, strong, adverse reactions to change, and difficulty communicating wants and needs on the part of the student (Hartman, 2001). This study brought to both the medical community and the education teams the need for world-wide adjustment within the education systems to better include children with autistic spectrum disorders.
Concerns of this need have since spread through the United Kingdom (Irish Times, 2005). While an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) approach to teaching has been