Promoting the social inclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in community groups

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are not easily included in
mainstream youth activities provided by the community and voluntary sector
(CVS) such as scouts, sports organisations and youth clubs.

Two studies were undertaken.

First, a survey of over 200 personnel from CVS groups to ascertain
their previous experience of these children and reactions to their enrolment.

Second, in light of the findings, a short, two-hour introductory training course on
ASD targeted at youth leaders was devised and evaluated with nearly 400
participants.

Most participants reported changes in their attitudes and perceptions
as well as citing a range of information they had gained from attending.

Further research is needed into the reasons why CVS groups are disinclined to enrol
children with ASD and in targeting awareness raising and training opportunities
more specifically within this sector.