Faculty Publications

Title

'There's no way this kid's retarded': Teachers' optimistic constructions of students' ability

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Journal of Inclusive Education

Volume

9

Issue

1

First Page

55

Last Page

69

Abstract

Historical research in the field of autism has suggested that judgements regarding the ability of students with autism should be made carefully, taking into consideration the person with autism's difficulty with communication, movement and performance in general. Although the historical literature has urged professionals to proceed with caution regarding judgements about ability, a haphazard understanding of people with autism as retarded prevails. This qualitative study analyses the experiences of four teachers who, within the context of the inclusive classroom, resist interpreting non-verbal students with autism as mentally retarded and seek to form a new understanding of ability. The following themes will be discussed: (1) finding situations where students demonstrate competence, (2) rethinking performance and understanding, and (3) expecting struggles.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2005

DOI of published version

10.1080/1360311042000253591

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