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Parental views on special educational needs provision: Cross-syndrome comparisons in Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Res Dev Disabil. 2018 Jul 05;80:102-111

Authors: Van Herwegen J, Ashworth M, Palikara O

BACKGROUND: The current study examined parents’ views about their child’s educational provision for children with Williams syndrome (WS), Down syndrome (DS), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
AIMS: This cross-syndrome comparison explored the specific and general difficulties that parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders experience about their child’s educational provision.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Parents of children aged 4-18;11 years old, including 99 with WS, 88 with DS, and 82 with ASD completed a survey.
OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Children with DS were more likely to access mainstream settings and 1-to-1 support compared to those with WS and ASD. Parental satisfaction was lowest for those with ASD but all parents mentioned concerns about professionals’ knowledge of how to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). There were also group differences for access to specialist support but overall access to occupational therapy and mental health was low.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: In contrast to previous studies, educational provision and satisfaction with educational provision are syndrome-specific. These results also highlight the need for training and raising awareness about the specific needs of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, our findings suggest improved communication between parents and the school is required about the type of support children with SEND are receiving.

PMID: 29981951 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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