Australian educational needs analysis

Autistic students may present unique challenges to school systems and an inclusive approach to education requires teachers to address these challenges and support the unique needs of autistic students. Challenging and complex behaviours are more frequent in autistic children and without appropriate intervention these behaviours tend to persist across an individual’s lifespan.

As a result, one of the biggest challenges faced by educators is ensuring that the high impact social, emotional and behavioural needs some autistic students experience can be successfully met within educational contexts.

This project aimed to produce the first Australian-wide needs analysis of autistic students (aged 5-16 years) and their educational needs and collected information from five key stakeholder groups:

(1) School administrators

(2) Teachers and specialist support staff

(3) Ancillary support staff such as teacher aides

(4) Parents of autistic students

(5) Autistic students

Key objectives of the project were:

(a) To gain a comprehensive profile of the educational support needs of autistic students

(b) To gain a comprehensive profile of the more individualised support needs of autistic students with high impact social, emotional and behavioural needs

(c) To identify the needs of educators to effectively manage and support autistic students within educational settings and maintain a strong sense of school connectedness

(d) To identify the needs of educators to effectively manage and support autistic students with complex needs within educational contexts and promote school connectedness

(e) To describe the goals identified by parents, students and educators that form the basis of intervention and support of autistic students with complex needs

(f) To identify information gathering, intervention processes and models of service delivery, involving a suite of technology platforms that can be successfully utilised to meet the effectively support the needs of the autistic students including those with complex needs and also meet the needs of the educational contexts

Project Leader(s)
  • Beth Saggers, Queensland University of Technology
Research Program
School Years - Program 2