Research with children with special educational needs

A focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authored by: Melissa L. Allen , Shu Yau

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning with Technology in Early Childhood

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138308169
eBook ISBN: 9781315143040
Adobe ISBN:


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Research with children with special educational needs provides a much-needed insight into atypical developmental trajectories, as well as impacting our understanding of typical development. In order to make meaningful comparisons across developmental groups, control groups are often required. However, which control group to implement and how to match comparison groups is of some debate. Understanding of key behavioural differences between individuals is also required to design effective studies. This chapter will review the challenges and benefits associated with studying children with special educational needs, focusing on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The heterogeneity of the condition poses unique challenges, particularly in conducting research with minimally verbal individuals. We outline some contemporary neuropsychological and neuroscientific methods which can enrich our understanding of this population.

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