Types of Home-School Communication and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study of Parents and Teachers in Two Primary Schools
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The present study offered an insight into the types of home-school communication that are valued and used by parents and teachers of students with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) at two Queensland primary schools. The parents and teachers of this study were atypically available for frequent unplanned meetings at drop-off and pick-up times. In this two-stage study, records and interviews were used to explore the range and complexity of types used, and the perceptions of practice around these types, at two schools. In Stage 1, parents and teachers provided shared information about home-school communication in separate focus group meetings. In Stage 2, two parent-teacher dyads at each school recorded home-school communication events for four weeks then reflected on these events in face-to-face interviews. Schools differed in the types of communication that were in place. Face-to-face communication was preferred at one school, whereas the communication book was preferred at the other school. Unplanned meetings occurred daily for three of the four parent-teacher dyads at drop-off or pick-up times. Many of these events were not recorded but were discussed briefly in the face-to-face interviews. Communication books were infrequently used, but parents and teachers at one school frequently discussed these books during the face-to-face interviews. Parents and teachers at the two schools were generally satisfied with the types of home-school communication, the frequency of events, and the time devoted to these events. Parents and teachers also valued the positive parent-teacher partnership that had been established through frequent home-school communication. This exploratory study showed that parents of students with ASD appreciated the opportunities for frequent home-school communication with teachers of their children. The practice at the two schools, however, was not representative of practice across this state because students were transported to school by their parents who volunteered to be involved in the research. Analyses focused on the frequencies of a limited number of types of communications with less scrutiny of the content of each of these exchanges. This study provided a starting point for more direct investigation into the content of home-school communication used when parents do not transport their child to school and are randomly selected.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
Item Access Status
autistic spectrum disorder