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Piloting autism intervention research with teachers in mainstream classrooms

Macdonald, Libby; Keen, Deb; Ashburner, Jill; Costley, Debra; Haas, Kaaren; Trembath, David


Libby Macdonald

Deb Keen

Jill Ashburner

Kaaren Haas

David Trembath


Although there is a recognised need for effective practices to support students on the autism spectrum in mainstream schools, there is a research to practice gap in the area of autism and education, whereby evidence-based intervention may take decades to translate into mainstream classroom practice. Thus, current recommendations are that, rather than presenting mainstream school teachers with interventions developed and tested in clinical or special education settings, a participatory research process should be used to facilitate implementation in real-world mainstream classrooms. This article reports on a case study that aimed to refine a structured teaching intervention package for use in mainstream classrooms, while at the same time tailoring research methods for evaluating the package in these settings. The outcomes of the project are presented with respect to (a) the development and refinement of the intervention package in consultation with a mainstream classroom teacher and (b) the lessons learned during the process that other clinical researchers, teachers, and clinicians could apply when implementing educational interventions in mainstream settings.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 18, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 5, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2018
Journal International Journal of Inclusive Education
Print ISSN 1360-3116
Electronic ISSN 1464-5173
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Autism spectrum disorder, Structured teaching, Research to practice gap, Mainstream classrooms, Teachers, Educational interventions, Messy research
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Inclusive Education on 05/06/2017, available online:


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