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ERIC Number: EJ1237608
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1911
The Wrong Kind of Noise: Understanding and Valuing the Communication of Autistic Children in Schools
Wood, Rebecca
Educational Review, v72 n1 p111-130 2020
As a result of the association of autism with speech and language difficulties, autistic school children can be subject to interventions ostensibly intended to remedy these problems. However, my study, based in five mainstream primary schools in England, which incorporated the views and experiences of school staff (n = 36), autistic children (n = 10), their parents (n = 10) and a sample of autistic adults (n = 10), suggests that these inputs do not always provide the children with the help they require. Indeed, notwithstanding some examples of effective assistance, the more evident communication of the autistic children, in its various manifestations, might be ignored and their wishes denied, if deemed not to correspond with the expectations or intentions of the supporting adult. Furthermore, their communication was also found to intersect with the issue of noise in schools, a complex phenomenon which can be an exclusionary factor for autistic children. Indeed, if some forms of noise were tolerated in school, the sounds emanating from autistic children might be disdained, while the communicative value of their silence was not evidently recognised either. Therefore, whether speaking, making noises or remaining silent, autistic children can be deemed to be making the wrong kind of noise. Elucidated via empirical examples from my study, the implications for research and practice are discussed, providing alternative perspectives on how to support the communication of autistic children, leading to greater agency, well-being and educational inclusion on their part.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A