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Using an appreciative inquiry approach to reflect on the support in initial teacher training (ITT) for autistic trainees

Written by: Sarah Alix
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8 min read
Sarah Alix, Programme Director, North Essex Teacher Training, UK Introduction This appreciative inquiry process was undertaken at an initial teacher training (ITT) provider. I had an emerging belief that we do not do enough for our autistic trainees, or consider their barriers to learning in enough detail, and therefore we may hinder their progress on the course. I had made some initial observations that some staff had preconceived judgements that the trainees would struggle and may not pass the course, and that this may have an impact on how we support them and how we implement potential strategies. The research generated a development plan for the provision. As Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, recently stated in foreword to the new autism strategy: ‘Although we’ve come so far over the last decade, there must be no limit to the ambitions of autistic people; they should have the same opportunities as everyone else in society.’ (DfE and DHSC, 20

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