Assessment Strategies Teachers Use To Place Learners with Autism Spectrum Disoders in Educational Programmes in Special Schools: A Case Study of Kampala District, Uganda
Wamala, Nakalule Juliet
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This study sought to investigate the assessment strategies teachers use to place learners with autism spectrum Disorders in educational programmes in special schools in Kampala District, Uganda. The study specifically analyzed the tools teachers use to assess learning needs of learners with autism, analyze the procedures teachers use to assess learning needs of learners with autism, assess the challenges experienced by teachers in the process of assessing and placing learners with autism and to analyze strategies teachers use to improve the assessment and placement of learners with autism. A case study design was adopted to guide collection, presentation and analysis of data. The study sample comprised of twelve (N=12) participants from two schools which had children with autism. The selection of the sample followed a purposive sampling technique. The study used interviews for the teachers, participant observations for the children, focus group discussions with the teachers who participated in the interviews and document analysis which included medical forms, admission forms, agreement forms, assessment Progressive report and Assessment report card to collect data. Qualitative aspects of data were managed using simple analytical tools such as checklists for rating the observation, tables and percentages without compromising the in-depth descriptions. The findings revealed that there are no specific tools that teachers use in assessment of learners with ASD. The results showed that observation is the most used tool in assessment. However, the findings revealed inconsistencies in the procedures used to develop educational programmes. Additionally, the findings showed that, the major challenge is varying behaviours of learners with autism spectrum disorders where by many of the children do not talk except a few and others do not associate with others oftenly. The study concludes that teachers were using more than one approach to assess learners for placement. Lastly, the study recommends that teachers shouldsit together and come up with a harmonised tool and procedures to be used in assessment, country wide.