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08-04-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2020 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 12/2020

The Development and Feasibility Study of a Multimodal ‘Talking Wall’ to Facilitate the Voice of Young People with Autism and Complex Needs: A Case Study in a Specialist Residential School

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 12/2020
Norah Richards, Laura Crane
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-020-04476-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Limited research has examined methods to investigate the views, preferences and experiences of young people with autism and complex needs. The aim of this study, based at a specialist residential school in England, was to develop and pilot an innovative method for this purpose—a ‘Talking Wall’—that was trialled over a 6-month period. Thematic analysis of data from focus groups and semi structured interviews with staff, combined with structured observations of pupils, resulted in three key themes: supporting the expression and evaluation of emotions that underlie preferences; recognising the impact of transitions; and the important role of familiar adults in interpreting communication bids. These positive, initial findings suggest the Talking Wall approach merits further development and evaluation.

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