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Implementation of Equal Opportunities for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Pre-School Education Institution

Rasa Braslauskienė, Reda Jacynė
Klaipėda University, Lithuania

Abstract. With the entry into force of the principles of democracy in modern society, inclusive education that means the right of all people to education, ensuring the presence, participation and progress and, above all, equal opportunities of all pupils, is becoming important. There are more and more children in the country who are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, but their fate is determined not by the disorder itself, but by psychological, social and pedagogical rehabilitation. It is necessary to provide a child with special educational needs with the opportunity to use the services of specialists, help one constructively so that (s)he becomes as involved in the life of society as possible, could develop one’s personality and improve spiritually (Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989; Lithuania’s Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2030” 2012). The aim is to reveal teachers’ attitude about the possibilities of the implementation of equal opportunities for children with autism spectrum disorder in the pre-school education institution. To achieve the aim, a qualitative study using an in-depth interview method, was conducted. The qualitative content analysis was used to process the research data. The findings of the research revealed that teachers believe that opportunities to ensure equal rights for children with autism are limited: it is difficult to ensure the safety of children; teachers do not have assistants; premises are not fully adapted; it is hard to change the established negative attitude of other people. Nevertheless, teachers provide individualized education opportunities for children with autism spectrum disorder; provide them with appropriate and safe means of education; create a separate space in the group, communicate and cooperate with children’s parents, thus ensuring more effective education; involve the child in social activities.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, children with special educational needs, inclusive education, pre-school education institution

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0