COMPARING INTERVENTIONS AND BELIEFS ABOUT AUTISM AND LINKS TO INTERPERSONAL RELATEDNESS IN TWO CITIES, IN TURKEY AND ENGLAND
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This thesis explores similarities and differences between interventions and beliefs about autism in Turkey and England. It is known that Turkish culture is interdependent and English culture is independent. It is also known that differences in interpersonal relatedness affect views about social behaviour, life goals and social priorities. This thesis, therefore, also explores whether interpersonal relatedness influences interventions and belief about autism in both countries. This research is based on case studies of special and mainstream schools in two cities, one in Turkey and one in England. The study used mixed research methods including questionnaires, interviews and observations. Participants included teachers, parents, children and clinicians. The quantitative data from questionnaires showed similarities between parents in both contexts regarding beliefs and priorities, but also important differences in interpersonal relatedness, sense of support and goals for their children. There were also differences within the two countries in the degree to which parents had an interdependent or independent orientation. Interdependent orientation across both contexts was associated with lower self-esteem, higher sense of helplessness and beliefs about the need for socio-communicative interventions. The qualitative data from interviews and observations showed similarities in the desire to improve outcomes for children with autism with many similarly held priorities and commitment to a range of interventions and approaches. Nevertheless there were substantial differences in resources and approach to teaching and involvement of family and community in the education of the children. Both the qualitative and quantitative data indicated that cultural orientations linked to interpersonal relatedness, societal priorities and resources influenced the care and education that children received and the relationships between families, schools and other professionals.
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