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Educating children on the autism spectrum: preconditions for inclusion and notions of ‘best autism practice’ in the early years


  • Karen Guldberg

Dr Karen Guldberg
School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston Campus
Birmingham B152TT


This article draws together findings from expert evidence and empirical studies to identify the preconditions for developing inclusive learning environments for young children on the autism spectrum. It concludes that in order to develop ‘best practice’, practitioners need to adapt interventions to the unique needs of the individual child, work in partnership with parents and other professionals, create enabling environments and be informed by a developmental approach to learning. Practitioners need to have knowledge of the autism spectrum and how it impacts on the child. Careful assessment of the individual child is also crucial. Finally, it is important to ensure that these young children receive direct teaching in communication and language, social understanding and skills, as well as learning with and through peers.