Segregation and Inclusion: A comparative analysis of three different educational settings for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the United Arab Emirates
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
With the increase in the number of mainstream schools providing education for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is important to study the benefits of such settings in comparison to a segregated setting. The purpose of this study was to carry out a comparative analysis of three different educational settings for students with ASDs in the UAE, in order to ascertain the benefits and drawbacks of each setting, and to discuss what can be learned from each setting to benefit the others. Teachers and staff were interviewed about their attitudes and experiences regarding the inclusion and segregation of students with ASDs in the UAE. The settings investigated were: a specialised private centre in Dubai providing a holistic approach; a specialised private centre in Dubai providing an ABA approach; and, a private mainstream international school in Sharjah including students with ASDs. Findings showed that the specialist provisions available were following international recommendations for educating students with ASDs. Mainstream settings in the UAE were found to be struggling to include students with ASDs effectively, with there being much scope for improvement. Recommendations were made to improve the inclusive services available to students with ASDs in the UAE.
DISSERTATION WITH DISTINCTION
mainstream schools, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), United Arab Emirates (UAE), educational settings, inclusion