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  • 1.
    Dindar, Katja
    et al.
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies. University of Eastern Finland.
    Kärnä, Eija
    University of Eastern Finland.
    The construction of communicative (in)competence in autism:: a focus on methodological decisions2017In: Disability & Society, ISSN 0968-7599, E-ISSN 1360-0508, Vol. 32, no 6, p. 868-891Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (henceforth autism) is often based upon biomedical understanding. Such understanding tends to view the characteristics related to autism diagnosis, such as the lack of or atypical use of speech, as a sign of incompetence that can be reduced as an underlying pathology of an individual. However, little research has explicitly investigated how methodological decisions in research might influence the perception of these characteristics. This paper draws on two separate research cases involving minimally verbal children with autism to examine how methodological decisions in research design, data collection, data analysis, and data interpretation influence the construction of communicative (in)competence in these children. The paper encourages researchers to carefully consider and reflect on the methodological decisions they make throughout the research process.

  • 2.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Am I there yet? My journey towards a PhD using Indigenous Research Methodologies.2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this presentation is to examine and analyze how the shift from a Western research paradigm to an Indigenist worldview has influenced and changed every aspect of my personal and professional life. In my PhD research on the meaning of music for First Nations children with autism in BC, Canada, an ethnographic approach was used from the outset, using methods such as interviews, observations, filmed observations and field notes. Gradually, these methods did not suffice to capture the nature of the research topic or the researcher experience. As a Swedish, non-Indigenous researcher, my tribal connection and relationship to the Lake Babine Nation, through my step-mother and paternal sisters was fundamental in being able to do this research. Opening up to a worldview characterized by reciprocity and relationality led me on a path on my journey towards a PhD that I had not anticipated, which has caused me to wonder if I am there yet. Instead of being the expert, as a teacher working with children with autism or a researcher doing research, my position has changed to that of a novice. Just like a child in the beginning of her learning process, I too need guidance. The difference is that in traditional Western education, it is the parents and then the teachers who mentor the child. Within an Indigenous worldview, I, the novice, engage in reciprocal relationships with all in creation, including Knowledge, not only humans. Understanding the interconnectedness with body, mind and spirit opens up new interpretations and understandings of the whole research endeavor. Relationships must be in the core of the questions and are the answers to the questions. In regard to the PhD process, I am almost there, but as a learner of Indigenist Knowledge, my journey has just begun.

  • 3.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Connecting traditional music to education for sustainable development: The case of a First Nations child diagnosed with autism2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to examine music as an innovation in special education using a case study to illustrate how factors such as ethnicity and ability can become insurmountable obstacles for participation. The purpose of my presentation is to discuss and obtain other teacher’s and researcher’s views and comments on this ongoing PhD project. Using an ethnographic approach, interviews and observations were conducted to study the meaning of music for a six -year -old First Nations boy in BC Canada, diagnosed with autism. In light of his situation, sustainable development seems unperceivable.

  • 4.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Decolonizing music interventions and support for First Nations children diagnosed with autism in BC Canada2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Eastern Finland, Finland.
    Exploring autism and music interventions through a FirstNations lens2017In: AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, ISSN 1177-1801, E-ISSN 1174-1740, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 202-209Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research project set out to examine the meaning of music for five First Nations children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in British Columbia, Canada. A pan-tribal framework within an Indigenist research paradigm was used. Data were collected during visits in 2013 and 2014. Five First Nations children with different tribal affiliations and living locations, their families, and professionals were engaged in the project. Methods were conversations, observations, filmed observations, interventions, and notes. It was found that current autism discourses and practices are based on a deficit model within Western paradigms, and therefore not compatible with inclusive, First Nations worldviews and perceptions of autism representations. Music is used for purposes such as relaxation, communication, and whenstudying. Indigenous music is not used in targeted music interventions. This article presents unique material, emphasizing the lack of cultural sensitivity, and colonial residue in music interventions for First Nations children with autism.

  • 6.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies. forskarstuderande vid University of Eastern Finland.
    How to listen and give voice to First Nations children in BC, Canada, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder – ethnography in practice2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper presentation is to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges I have met as a PhD candidate. My work has involved conducting ethnographic fieldwork regarding the meaning of music for First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. The idea and research plan looked good in theory, but the reality presented various challenges. I am a Swedish researcher, who grew up in Canada, so having a stepmother and sisters who are First Nations has provided me access to the field. One major obstacle I encountered was the scarcity of First Nations children diagnosed with ASD. The focus of this paper presentation, however, is on ethical aspects of being accepted in Indigenous communities and welcomed into people’s homes. It can be challenging to interpret and portray people’s life stories. My interest lies in the impact of the interaction, both on the participant and the researcher. Finally, I will examine how the researcher can listen and give voice to First Nations children with ASD and their families, thus acknowledging and honoring the unique opportunity and privilege afforded her.

  • 7.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Indigenous music – an overlooked resource in music interventions with First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed with Autism2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Music interventions are reported to be helpful for children with autism in areas such as communication and social skills (Simpson & Keen, 2011). Structure and predictability in music is beneficial for children and adolescents with ASD (Wigram & Gold, 2006). ASD appears to be under-detected among First Nations children in BC, Canada (Lindblom, 2014).

    Methods

    The material used in this presentation is collected within the on-going PhD project with the working title: The meaning of music for First Nations children in BC, Canada, diagnosed with Autism. The use of traditional Indigenous music with First Nations children diagnosed with ASD was a point of interest in the study. Ethnographic fieldwork is used for data collection and the material consists of transcribed interviews, observations, filmed observations and field notes. Five cases are included in the study. This presentation focuses on one case.

    Key Findings

    Interviews: The child was sometimes exposed to Indigenous music in the home environment. In the school setting, he enjoyed one on one singing and playing rhythm instruments and the piano. In school no Indigenous music was used. Observations and interactions: The child was very focused on the Ipad during a video of singing and drumming by people from his Nation. Drumming and singing, one on one with the researcher, resulted in the child interacting in singing, playing the drum and taking turns. The child also engaged in eye contact.

    Conclusion

    It appears that the use of music in educational settings with First Nations children in BC, Canada, diagnosed with ASD, lacks in cultural sensitivity. The potential of Indigenous music as a resource in music interventions with Indigenous individuals diagnosed with ASD needs to be further investigated. This could influence future development of culturally sensitive interventions for children diagnosed with ASD in global Indigenous contexts.

    Bernier, R., Mao, A., Yen, J. (2010). Psychopathology, Families and Culture: Autism. Child and adolescent

         psychiatric clinics of North America, 19(4), 855-867.

    Lindblom, A. (2014). Under-detection of autism among First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada.                                       

    Disability & Society. 29(8), 1248-1259.

    Ouellette-Kuntz, H., Coo, H., Yu, C.T., Chudley, A.E., Noonan, A., Breitenbach., Ramji, N., Prosick, T. Bedard,

         A. & Holden, J.J.A. (2006). Prevalence of Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Two Canadian Provinces.

         Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual disabilities, 3(3), 164-172.

    Simpson, K.,Keen, D. (2011). Music Interventions for Children with  Autism: Narrative Review of the     

         Literature. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 41:1507-1514.   

    Wigram, T. & Gold, C. (2006). Music therapy in the assessment and treatment of autistic

         spectrum disorder: clinical application and research evidence. Child: care, health and

         development, 32(5), 535-542.

     

     

  • 8.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    ‘It gives them a place to be proud’: Music and social inclusion. Two diverse cases of young First Nations people diagnosed with autism in British Columbia, Canada2017In: Psychology of Music, ISSN 0305-7356, E-ISSN 1741-3087, Vol. 45, no 2, p. 268-282Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Growing up and becoming an active participant in society can be challenging for young people. Factors such as ethnicity, disability and gender can, separately, pose difficulties. When combined, they can develop into insurmountable obstacles. The use of music interventions and activities to overcome some of these obstacles is explored in this article, using two cases of young First Nations people diagnosed with autism, in British Columbia, Canada. Although there are similarities, the differences in severity of ASD, place of residence and school situation, to mention a few factors, make a huge difference in their daily lives. Their contrasting possibilities to be present and participate in society may have implications for their social inclusion in adulthood. Results show that both traditional and contemporary music interventions can provide foundations for inclusion and they need to be carefully designed for each individual.

  • 9.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Mind maps as a tool for analyzing, validating and disseminating research results2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conducting research within Indigenous contexts requires the researcher to consider many issues. Engaging in respectful relationships and dissemination of results are two important aspects in all research. The history of colonialism and research on Indigenous peoples, however, makes these factors especially important within Indigenous contexts. In this poster presentation, I aim to discuss the use of mind maps to analyze interview transcripts, validate transcript interpretations together with participants and informants, and disseminate research results. My ongoing PhD project is on the meaning of music for First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Visual methods, such as mind maps, are beneficial to individuals with autism. Furthermore, mind maps provide a mutual point of focus for discussion and allow the opportunity to add new information, thus making progress or change visible and obvious. This is useful in interaction with all participants and informants.

  • 10.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Negotiating consent throughout the research process. Participation on the participant’s terms.2016In: Inclusion, Participation and Human Rights in Disability Research - comparisons and exchanges 30 Jun-1 Jul 2016 Stockholm Sweden, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    The purpose of this presentation is to discuss negotiation of consent and participation in a research project on the meaning of music for First Nations children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, in British Columbia, Canada, and to obtain comments and feedback from the scientific community.

    Background

    Informed consent is a strong ethical principal in any research project. However, when the participant has a disability, it can be difficult for the researcher to know if the participant actually understands what participation in the project entails. In my project, I have negotiated consent and participation with the participating five children throughout the research process. The participants are vulnerable, not only because of their disability, but also due to marginalization in a society where colonial residue is ever-present in daily life.

    Methodology

    This is an ethnographic study inspired by Indigenous Research Methodologies. Interviews were conducted in 2013 and follow-up interviews, observations, video-filmed observations and field notes in 2014. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed from five research questions and the results made in to mind-maps from every individual interview. These mind-maps were used as a mutual focal point in the follow-up interviews to disseminate results and ensure correct interpretation. Relevant sequences from the film material were analyzed in the software ELAN and the hand-written field notes typed on the computer.

    Results

    The material illustrates how consent and participation is negotiated in multiple ways with the participants throughout the research process. This was done by written consent, by asking about participation during the interview or observation, by using the mind-map, and by picking up on signals from the participant. By ensuring their informed decisions to continue their participation, power imbalance was addressed and their rights were respected, which is particularly important when conducting research within Indigenous contexts.

     

    Keywords: First Nations; Autism; Consent; Power; Rights

     

     

  • 11.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Possible educational implications of the underdiagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, ASDs, of aboriginal children in British Columbia, Canada2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During a preparational trip to Vancouver, Canada, to come in contact with possible participants for my PhD study about the meaning of music for aboriginal children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, ASDs, local researchers and school officials informed me that there are very few known cases in British Columbia, BC. Canada. Furthermore it seems that researchers have limited access to this field. The aim of this review of publications on the prevalence of autism, ethnicity and aboriginal groups is to get an overall picture of previous research and possibly contribute with insights that can be useful in understanding the situation in BC. It is also the starting point for my fieldstudies. The review reveals that aboriginal children in BC, Canada are underdiagnosed and underrepresented in research context. Possible reasons can be cultural, ethnical, diagnostic substitution, symptoms being recognized as schizophrenia, or ethnic bias in diagnostic decisions and the impact of historical oppression and discrimination. If aboriginal children in fact are underdiagnosed with autism, the educational implications may be severe, individually, but also as a minority group. They are also missing the opportunity to get funding provided by the B.C Ministry of Children and Family Development for families to purchase treatment and intervention for children up to 18 years of age. One of the characteristiscs of autism is the need for sameness and disruptions often lead to eruptions, outbursts or undesirable behavior. Positive effects on social and classroom behavior have been seen in research regarding music interventions for children with ASDs but music as an educational/special educational tool for inclusion has yet to be investigated. In the academic year 2013/2014 I intend to do ethnografic fieldwork on the meaning of music for aboriginal children with ASDs and screening for autism in children from indigenous communities in BC, Canada, as two studies towards my dissertation. Possibly accurate assessment of ASDs within the aboriginal community and learning about the use and qualities of indigeneous music within this population can give us the opportunity to transform educational practice and facilitate inclusion.

  • 12.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Previous research on music and children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous Research on music and children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

    Anne Lindblom

    Karlstad University Sweden/University of Eastern Finland

    The focus of the poster is to summarize previous research on music and children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in order to create a theoretical background for ethnografic studies in the subject. Searching for and reading/processing recent research articles about music with children with Asperger syndrome will be the first step. Articles about related studies such as music with children with diagnoses within the autism spectrum and music with adults diagnosed with Asperger syndrome or autism spectrum disorders will also be used for reference. Using Wing’s triad of impairments, social interaction, communication and imagination, the results from previous research will be organized in categories. Areas within these three impairments that are positively effected through various types of musical interventions will be defined. This will be the starting point for the ethnografic study of the meaning of music for children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome - a comparative study in two cultural and institutional settings.

    Expected findings are that there is no previous research on children with Asperger syndrome and music. Abundant research material about music and children within the autism spectrum shows positive results which illustrates the need for additional research regarding children with Asperger syndrome and music. The study which will be conducted in Sweden has relevance to Nordic educational research as the Swedish Education Act of 2011 states that children with autism and Asperger syndrome no longer have the right to attend the special program for pupils with intellectual disabilities. Thus these children are now to be educated in regular classes. This places high demands on teachers who for the most part lack the knowledge and experience required for successful learning for the pupil with Asperger syndrome. Hopefully the research will produce new knowledge that can be helpful in using musical intervention as a special educational tool, more effectively and consciously, for inclusive education for children with Asperger syndrome. The network for classroom research and ethnographic studies and/or inclusive education are suitable for the presentation.

  • 13.
    Lindblom, Anne
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Stepping out of the shadows of colonialism to the beat of the drum: The meaning of music for five First Nations children with autism in British Columbia, Canada2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation set out to examine the meaning of music for First Nations childrenwith autism in BC, Canada. The research questions addressed were: How can thediagnosis of ASD be seen through a First Nations lens? How do the First Nationschildren with ASD use music? In which ways is music used in different domains?In which ways is music used to facilitate inclusion? How is traditional music used?The dissertation is based on four original articles that span over the issues of under-detection of autism among First Nations children in BC, ethnographic fieldwork,and the paradigmatic shift to Indigenist research methodologies, the role of music insocial inclusion and a First Nations lens on autism, the use of Indigenous music withFirst Nations children with autism, put in context with First Nations children’s rights.Material was collected during six week periods in two consecutive years, generatingdata from conversations, follow-up conversations, observations, video-filmed observations,and notes. Post-colonial BC, Canada is the context of the research, and issuesof social inclusion and children’s rights are addressed. During the research process,a journey that began with an ethnographic approach led to an Indigenist paradigm.It was found that colonial residue and effects of historical trauma can influenceFirst Nations children being under-detected for autism. The First Nations childrendiagnosed with autism in this study use music in similar ways to typically developingchildren and non-Indigenous individuals with autism. These uses include for communicationand relaxation, for security and happiness, to soothe oneself and whenstudying. However, music interventions in school settings are not culturally sensitive.Music as a tool for inclusion is overlooked and Indigenous music not utilizedoutside of optional Aboriginal classes. The most important lesson of the study wasthe significance of reciprocal experience, emphasized by the Indigenist paradigm. Itcan be suggested that carefully designed, culturally sensitive music interventions,in collaboration with traditional knowledge holders and Elders, would be beneficialfor the development of First Nations children with autism. Consequently, culturallysensitive music interventions could have potential to ensure that the children’s rightsare respected. For these interventions to be culturally adequate, specific IndigenousKnowledge must be the foundation.

  • 14.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies. forskarstuderande vid University of Eastern Finland.
    The issue of managing emotions caused by music2014In: Psykologia 2014 Joensuu: Joensuussa 20.-22.8.2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During ethnographic fieldwork for my PhD study on the meaning of music for First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, a mother disclosed something interesting in an interview. The aim of this oral presentation is to raise and discuss the issue of managing emotions caused by music. Brenda (fictitious name) is a fourteen year-old aboriginal girl diagnosed with autism. She loves listening to music and this takes up most of her time. During a four-year period, two songs by the same group made her have big violent tantrums every time she heard them. The family and staff at school and after school programs tried to avoid these songs, but could not always foresee when they would be played on the radio. When she finally could define which emotion the songs made her feel, she told her educational aid that they made her feel sad. Towards the end of the four-year period the tantrums seemed to decrease and Brenda appeared to be able to soothe herself. It is my understanding that when working with children diagnosed with autism a strategy to prevent outbursts and tantrums is to try to control the environment and not expose the child to things that might trigger unwanted or challenging behaviour. I would like to discuss pros and cons of this procedure and consider possible beneficial elements in the use of music- or other therapies with children diagnosed with ASD, to enhance the ability to identify and communicate their emotions.

  • 15.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    The meaning of music for First Nations children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in British Columbia, Canada2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Autism prevalence is rising globally (Government of Canada, 2015), but appears to be  under-detected among First Nations children in BC, Canada (Lindblom, 2014). Music interventions for children with ASD can be beneficial (e.g. Greher, Hillier, Dougherty & Poto, 2010; Simpson and Keen, 2011). There is a scarcity of research on First Nations, autism and music. The aim of this PhD project was to investigate the meaning of music for First Nations children with ASD in BC, Canada.

     

    The research was conducted within an Indigenist paradigm (Adams, Wilson, Heavy Head & Gordon, 2015, p. 20). Methods used were intuition, dreams, feelings, spirituality, conversations, observations, and video-recorded observations and interventions. The research partners are five First Nations children with ASD in BC, their parents, caregivers, teachers, music therapists and others. Conversation transcripts, notes and selected coded video recordings from the research questions were compared in the analysis.

     

    Results show that the diagnosis of autism is based on a Western deficit model and does not fit within a First Nations worldview. Music is important in the lives of the five participants and it contributes greatly to their well-being, happiness and communication.

    Music was not used as a tool for inclusion nor was traditional Indigenous music used in school settings. (Lindblom, 2016a, Lindblom, 2016b). The children and their families are dependent on the dominant school, health and support systems. Therefore, it is important to decolonize music interventions and support to better meet the needs of the children, families, and ultimately, the communities.

  • 16.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    The use of music to feel happy and safe exemplified by the case of Debbie, a First Nations teenager diagnosed with ASD2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    This presentation introduces a case study that aims to show how music can be used to improve the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    Background

    There is extensive research on music interventions for individuals with ASD but there is a lack on research within Indigenous context. This presentation focuses on one of five cases, a teen called Debbie, from a research project on the meaning of music for First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed with ASD.

    Methodology

    Ethnographic field studies strongly influenced by Indigenous research methodologies were conducted in 2013 and 2014. The material consists of transcribed interviews, observations, and videotaped observations and music interventions.

    Ethical aspects

    This research project was approved by the ethical committee at the University of Eastern Finland. Informed consent was given by all who participated in the study and consent was negotiated throughout the research process. All names were changed and tribal affiliation omitted.

    Results

    Debbie uses music in all aspects of her life to feel happy and safe. She listens to it, watches videos, sings and dances whenever possible. At home, in school and at the after school club, music is a big part of her structure. Contemporary pop and dance music has been her preference until she recently made and played an Aboriginal drum.

    Closing remarks

    There is a scarcity of research on music and autism within Indigenous context. Hopefully, this case can inspire to future research and influence support systems and interventions.

  • 17.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Thoughts and Experiences from Ethnographic Fieldwork with First Nations2015Other (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ethnographic fieldwork is common in many fields of research. When I got accepted for doctoral studies, I had worked on my idea for many years. I thought I knew what to expect from my field studies with First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed with autism, but ultimately, I had to change my plans several times during the research project. Unexpected challenges, but also fantastic opportunities, were offered and dealing with them was sometimes confusing, frightening and discouraging. Ethical and methodological issues were constantly present. The aim of this text is to give a personal account of my experiences to give aspiring ethnographers an idea of what doing research with Indigenous peoples might entail.

  • 18.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies. forskarstuderande vid University of Eastern Finland.
    Under-detection of autism among First Nations children in British Columbia, Canada2014In: Disability & Society, ISSN 0968-7599, E-ISSN 1360-0508, Vol. 29, no 8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article shows that First Nations children diagnosed with autism in British Columbia, Canada are under-represented in publications regarding autism and the prevalence thereof, and that this group appears to be under-detected. The aim of this review of publications regarding autism and aboriginal populations in Canada and other countries is to examine possible explanations. The research review results suggest that possible reasons for under-detection of autism among aboriginal populations, and consequently First Nations peoples, can be diagnostic substitution and symptom presentation, ethnic or cultural, area of residence or the impact of historical oppression and discrimination.

  • 19.
    Lindblom, Anne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Amsell, Christoffer
    Autism in the Swedish school system: personal narratives2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, no diagnosis of any kind is required to get special support in school according to the Swedish Education Act. Furthermore, students should receive special support within the group of students they belong. As a lecturer and researcher in the field of special education, this is what I teach at Karlstad University, Sweden. Previously, I worked in a self-contained remedial classroom for young pupils with behavioral problems, who often were diagnosed with developmental disorders such as autism. There are, obviously, exceptions that are regulated in the Education Act. However, in practice, schools sometimes pressure parents to start a diagnosis process for their child, and not all pupils’ needs of special support are met. This became painfully apparent when my oldest grandchild entered the Swedish school system.

    I am fifteen years old and I hate school. Teachers have never liked me, and I have always been to blame for my difficulties in school. This led to severe anxiety and social phobia. Currently, I am attending something called Not-School, which is adapted to match my needs. I have two days practicum with my step-grandfather, either in his workshop, on the farm or repairing machines. This is my fifth school. I hate school, but I like learning about things I am interested in. To compensate for my negative school experiences, my family is devoted to making my life outside of school as interesting, pleasurable and full as possible. I like playing computer/video games, riding my moto-cross, animals, working on engines, and travelling. With my grandmother I have been on vacations to Norway, Bulgaria and Greece, but also accompanied her on research related trips to Canada and the USA. This is my first autism presentation and my first visit to Australia.

     

  • 20.
    Lindblom, Anne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Carew, Mark
    Canterbury Christ Church University; University of East London, England .
    Dindar, Katja
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Kärnä, Eija
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Soan, Sue
    Canterbury Christ Church University, England.
    Roos, Carin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Student teacher’s attitudes towards educating pupils diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the inclusive mainstream classroom2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social justice, equality and solidarity in education are the founding principles of inclusive education. Yet barriers to inclusion remain within many classrooms across Northern Europe. In Sweden, Finland and England, the ideology is to provide special needs education primarily in mainstream education. Thus, the support for children with ASD is generally provided in conjunction with mainstream education whenever possible. However, although teachers play a crucial role in the inclusion of children with special needs in regular education, there persists a paucity of empirical research surrounding teacher attitudes toward children with ASD and their experiences of educating these pupils in the classroom. This is particularly the case in regard to student teachers, with whom there has been no studies on this topic. Such data are important because, given that the prevalence of ASD has increased sharply worldwide, it is vital that student teachers are adequately prepared to meet the needs and secure the equal treatment of pupils diagnosed with ASD in the classroom.

    The current project seeks to address this gap by accessing student teacher attitudes and experiences of children with ASD in Sweden, Finland and England. Student teachers will be recruited from higher education courses at one university in each country. The project will utilize a mixed method approach comprising three stages. Firstly, participants will be asked to complete a cross-sectional survey investigating attitudes to children with ASD and their hypothesized predictors (e.g., knowledge, contact), derived from extant research on disability attitudes. This will shed light on the structure of student teacher attitudes in addition to what may influence them. Secondly, semi-structured interviews will be used to explore student teachers’ classroom interactions with children who have ASD. This will give rich insight into how student teachers think and feel about educating pupils with ASD and identify any barriers to their inclusion in a mainstream setting. In the final stage, cross-national comparisons will be made between the three countries. This will highlight which aspects of teacher education programmes facilitate positive attitudes to children with ASD. These data will be helpful in influencing the teacher education policies in Sweden, Finland and England in directions that will promote equality and inclusion in mainstream education. 

    This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between psychology and special education faculty members at three European universities.  The purpose of this presentation is to outline the scope of the project, discuss its methodology and obtain feedback from the scientific community. 

  • 21.
    Lindblom, Anne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Soan, Sue
    Canterbury Christ Church University, England.
    Dindar, Katja
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Carew, Mark
    Canterbury Christ Church University, England.
    Kärnä, Eija
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Roos, Carin
    Karlstad University.
    Contributing to Change in Teacher Education? Assessing Student Teachers’ Attitudes Towards People with Autism Spectrum Disorder.2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Theoretical framework, objectives and research questions

    Inclusive education is advocated in school legislation in Sweden, Finland and England, and support for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is generally provided within the mainstream classroom. As ASD prevalence has risen markedly worldwide, and currently stands at approximately 1 in 100 (Autism Europe, 2016), it is likely that student teachers will encounter pupils with ASD during their practical placement, and subsequently, in the profession.

    Representations of ASD, such as difficulties in social interaction and communication, can entail challenges for the pupil in the mainstream context and for adults in the community (Shereen & Geuts, 2015). For the teacher, ensuring the pupil’s inclusion requires knowledge about ASD and adequate support and intervention methods to meet the individual’s needs. Previous research has mainly examined teachers’ and student teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion of pupils with ASD (e.g.,McGregor & Campbell, 2001; Ross-Hill, 2009) and the accuracy of their knowledge and beliefs about ASD (e.g., Talib & Paulson, 2015).

    Less attention has been paid to teachers’ attitudes towards ASD in general. Two recent studies have however examined student teachers’ (Park, Chitiyo, & Choi, 2010) and teacher’s attitudes (Park & Chitiyo, 2011) towards pupils with ASD. The studies found that both groups held positive attitudes towards children with ASD, yet women reported more positive attitudes than men. Further, in the student teacher group participants’ exposure to ASD and their academic major influenced their attitudes so that the students majoring in special education had more positive attitudes than students majoring in general education (Park et al., 2010). These studies have not however examined the mechanisms of attitude change (e.g., why does exposure lead to more positive attitudes), which the current study aims to explore.

    Given that the majority of previous research has taken place in the USA, (e.g. Talib and Paulson, 2015);  there is an urgent  need to investigate student teachers’ attitudes towards ASD, particularly pupils with ASD,  in Europe, in order to ensure the continuing provision of high quality inclusive education in this context. Moreover, to our knowledge there are no previous studies clarifying whether differences exist in student teachers’ attitudes towards ASD across different European countries. This study aims to fill these gaps. The project represents a collaboration between psychology and special education faculty members at three European universities across Sweden, Finland and England. The purpose of this presentation is to present results of this ongoing interdisciplinary research project and obtain feedback and comments from the scientific community.

    The research questions are:

    1. What are the attitudes of student teachers towards pupils with ASD?

    2. Are there differences in student teachers’ attitudes between Sweden, Finland, and England?

    3.  Is there any relationship between the student teachers’ gender, course of study, knowledge of ASD, exposure to ASD and their attitudes?

    Methodology

    The project utilizes a mixed method approach consisting of two stages. This paper will disseminate the results of the first stage, a cross-sectional survey investigating student teachers’ attitudes toward ASD, their hypothesized predictors (e.g., knowledge of ASD, level of contact with people who have ASD), and potential mediators (e.g., anxiety).

    Participants will be students who are completing a teacher training course at each of the three universities conducting the research. These participants will complete the survey as part of a lecture on a closely related topic. Power analysis suggests that approximately 250 student teachers need to be recruited in each country to adequately test hypotheses (see below).  

    Measures are derived from extant research on disability attitudes (e.g., Krahé & Altwasser, 2006) and utilise nine point Likert scales. In addition to closed measures, the survey also includes open-ended questions designed to elicit deeper responses from participants and gain rich insight into the thoughts, feelings and concerns that student teachers hold when educating pupils with ASD in the classroom.

    The survey was designed in English, and subsequently translated into Swedish and Finnish by native speakers of each language. It has already been piloted in all three countries, with positive feedback about its intuitiveness and ease of comprehension for participants. In addition to addressing the research questions (above), the results of the survey will also be used to inform the second stage of the project, comprising in-depth interviews with student teachers about their experiences of educating pupils with ASD.

    Expected outcomes

    As this is an on-going research project with data being gathered between January and May 2016, the findings and literature-relevant discussion will be presented at the conference.  Data is currently being collected in all three countries. However, drawing on the findings of previous research (e.g., Park & Chitiyo, 2011), the following hypotheses can be made:

    1. Student teacher attitudes toward ASD will be positive overall.

    2. Female student teachers will hold more positive attitudes than males.

    3. Student teachers completing a special education focused teaching training course will hold more positive attitudes than those completing a general education focused one.

    4. Higher levels of prior contact with people who have ASD will be associated with more positive attitudes towards them.

    In light of the paucity of research investigating student teacher attitudes in the European context, we make no specific hypotheses regarding potential differences between our samples.

    Our pilot data suggest that the collective findings from this research project will encourage all student teachers to reflect on their attitudes towards all pupils with a special need or disability, as this was a general trend.  It is hoped that through this self-reflection attitudes towards all pupils with ASD or another disability or special educational need will positively impact on practice in the classroom. By investigating student teachers’ attitudes towards educating pupils diagnosed with ASD, and what may influence them, new knowledge can be generated. We aspire to promote improvement and influence teacher education policies in Sweden, Finland and England.

    Intent of publication

    It is intended that findings from the project contribute to at least one peer-reviewed article, to be disseminated in a high quality journal covering this area of interest, e.g., Autism, European Journal of Special Needs Education, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and The Teacher Educator.

    References

    Autism Europe. Prevalence rate of autism. (2016). Available from: http://www.autismeurope.org/about-autism/prevalence-rate-of-autism/

    Krahé, B., & Altwasser, C. (2006). Changing negative attitudes towards persons with physicaldisabilities: An

         experimental intervention. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 16, 59-69.

     McGregor, E. & Campbell, E. (2001). The attitudes of teachers in Scotland to the integration of children with autism into mainstream schools. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 5(2), 189–207.

    Park, M. & Chitiyo, M. (2011). An Examination of Teacher Attitudes towards Children with Autism. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 11(1), 70–78.

    Park, M., Chitiyo, M., & Choi, Y. S. (2010). Examining pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards children with autism in the USA. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 10(2), 107–114.

    Ross-Hill, R. (2009). Teacher attitude towards inclusion practices and special needs students. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 9(3), 188–198.

    Scheeren, A.M., & Geuts, H.M. (2015). Research on community intergration in autism spectrum disorder: Recommendations from research on psychosis.  Research in Autims Spectrum Disorders, 17, 1-12.

    Talib.T.L., & Paulson, S. (2015). Differences in competence and beliefs about autism among teacher education students. The Teacher Educator (50)4, 240-256.                             

     

                

     

  • 22.
    Lindblom, Anne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
    Toby, Samarra
    Resourceful Indigenous families of children with autism2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a research project involving five First Nations families in British Columbia, Canada, with a child diagnosed with autism, it became apparent that autism support and diagnosis services can be difficult to access. In a pilot conversation, an Indigenous family in Australia revealed similar issues. To ensure care for their children, these families have to be creative and resourceful.

    The aim of this presentation is present how two First Nations families acquire services, or provide care for their child when services are not available. Furthermore, an Indigenous, Australian medical doctor and mother of a child with autism, will tell about their struggle for appropriate services and support, and present the kit she has developed.

    The research project used a pan-tribal framework. To address power issues and to reflect the reciprocal relationality in Indigenous worldviews, the term research partner is used instead of participant and conversation is used instead of interview. Other methods such as observations, video-filmed observations, intuition and dream were also used.

    Access to services and support varies depending on living location. Results show that the First Nations families tend to their child’s needs in different ways, such as inclusively within a multi-generational family, and accessing services through autism funding are ways that First Nations families. The Australian family relocated to access services and support, and constructed a learning kit.

    Resourcefulness is essential to all families with a member diagnosed with autism when community services and support systems fail to adequately serve their needs. However, for Indigenous families, the Western deficit model is not compatible with the inclusive, reciprocal worldviews. For them, their resourcefulness may be all they have to work with. Future research should address this gap between needs and support, and address cultural sensitivity and appropriateness.

     

  • 23.
    Tuononen, Katja
    et al.
    University of Eastern Finland.
    Lindblom, Anne
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies. forskarstuderande vid University of Eastern Finland.
    Identifying initiatives by children with ASD: Exemplified by two cases.2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this poster presentation is to discuss how different research methods can be used to identify initiatives by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) during interaction with teaching staff. The ideas presented originate from two ongoing PhD projects in two countries using different methods. The Finnish case comes from an analysis of video recordings using conversation analysis conducted to understand triadic interaction of children with ASD in a technology-enhanced school environment. The Canadian case comes from an interview study conducted in ethnographic fieldwork, in both home and educational environments, regarding the meaning of music for First Nations children in British Columbia diagnosed with ASD. These two cases are used to illustrate how the children’s initiatives could be missed or misinterpreted in these specific educational settings. By identifying such initiatives we could build educational interventions on the foundation of the children’s strengths instead of reproducing the deficit model of disability. This could in a life perspective help a child with ASD reach his or her full potential.

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