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Vécu de l’inclusion scolaire au secondaire des élèves ayant un trouble du spectre de l’autisme : regards croisés des adolescents et de leurs parents, en France et au Québec

Abstract : Background. In the last years, an increasing number of students diagnosed with high functioning autistic spectrum disorders (HFASD) was able to attend mainstream high schools in both France and Quebec. Despite international studies and governmental recommendations to involve directly youth with HFASD in research, their own perspective is rarely taken into account in francophone research settings. Yet, their singular perception of the world and their difficulties with social understanding can be obstacles for their academic and social fulfillment, especially during adolescence. Objective. Grounded in an ecological approach where participants are acknowledged as experts and knowledge co producers, our work aims at understanding how they cope with mainstream education in high schools. Methods. 26 teenagers with HFASD (13-17) and their parents collaborated in this research, in France (n=17) and in Quebec (n=9). Both youth and parents took part in semi-structured in-depth interviews and completed questionnaires (Adolescents: Friendship Qualities Scale (FQS) and Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA); Parents: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and personal information sheet). Results. Questionnaire analysis. Cluster analysis identified three adolescent profiles for friendship representations, mainly distinguished regarding two dimensions: companionship and help/aid from the friend. Three dimensions (social acceptance, close friends and physical appearance) differentiate self-perception into a 4-group typology (SPPA). Moreover, the presence of a teaching assistant in class and the social skills training support (individual or group sessions) are correlated positive with self and friendship representations. Despite moderate to high scores of impact and parental burden (SDQ), results indicate that satisfying parental representations are positively correlated with adolescent’ prosocial behaviors, full-time job for mothers and diagnosis of ASD in parents. Thematic analysis of teenagers’ interviews. Managing school sensory aspects, perceived immature behaviors from their peers and tiredness resulting from to important workload are identified as the main obstacles for their wellbeing in high school. On the contrary, being included in an intensive or international academic program, being driven by a passion or a clear objective and having a friend in the school environment appear to be important enablers for inclusion success. Although strongly dependent of peers’ representations, the autistic identity is generally well lived and accepted, especially outside of high school. Prospects. Transition from adolescence to adult life will constitute one of the major challenges for youth with HFASD in the next few years and has to be anticipated as soon as possible. This preparation would allow the adolescents to gain autonomy and practical skills to understand their needs and strengths and be able to speak for themselves in a professional environment. Finally, our work highlights the urge for moving from a deficit-led approach to a neurodiversity paradigm, promoting empowerment of individuals and considering ASD as a valuable contribution to human diversity.
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Morgane Aubineau. Vécu de l’inclusion scolaire au secondaire des élèves ayant un trouble du spectre de l’autisme : regards croisés des adolescents et de leurs parents, en France et au Québec. Psychologie. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU20104⟩. ⟨tel-02075142⟩

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