Pedagogical constraints encountered by teachers teaching children with autism spectrrum disorders: a case of Nairobi city primary school, Nairobi County, Kenya
Kariuki, Joan Nyagichuhi
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The purpose of the study was to establish pedagogical constraints teachers encounter when teaching learners with autism. The autism unit at City Primary School, Nairobi was purposively selected as a case study because it was the first autism programme established in Kenya to provide multiple intervention strategies such as dietary intervention, sensory integration and behaviour modification to teach learners with autism. The study population comprised of 6 teachers, 6 class assistants, 5 non-teaching staff, 8 occupational therapists, head teacher and the parents' coordinator. The study was guided by The New York Autism Programme, of Quality Indicators (APQI) model 2001. Primary data were collected using structured questionnaires, an interview guide and an observation checklist that was developed by the researcher to corroborate information obtained in the questionnaires. Pre-testing of the instruments was carried out at Vanesa Grant Special School, in Nakuru County, which has a unit for children with autism. Data analyzed were both qualitative and quantitative using descriptive statistics and inferences made on the various constructs. Data pertaining to the various profiles were presented and discussed as per the objectives of the study. Qualitative data were analysed by first converting them to a write up to create descriptive multidimensional categories. The results of the study were presented in pie charts, tables of frequency distributions, bar graphs and percentages. The study revealed that teachers faced constraints in teaching learners with ASD because of limitations related to teachers' educational level and type of training, their understanding of Triad of impairments, availability and use of resources, and due to their limitations in curriculum and instructional strategies. It was, therefore, recommended that teachers of learners with ASD should possess competency in the area of ASD; that the government in-service programmes should be developed from an assessment of training needs and in collaboration with professionals, from various universities, as well as international and national experts who can provide research -based methodologies such as ABA, PECS and TEACCH.