A study of management and its effect on effective learning of autistic children in a special school and special units in Imenti North district.
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ABSTRACT Autism is a brain disorder that takes place during the first two and a half years of childhood. It is characterized by social disconnectedness, failure to recognize and read the subtleties of human communication behaviours and interactions, an obsessive addiction to routines and repeatable behaviours. According to recent estimates one in five autistic children have been excluded from school and many leave school with no formal qualifications. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness in the management of autistic children in a special primary school and 9 special units, and assisting making recommendations to improve the learning of autistic children. The study was carried out in two phases namely: The exploratory or pilot study and the main study. The study adopted descriptive survey the research derived a total sample of 90 respondents from a population of 450 using purposive and stratified random sampling. Four teachers and parents will be randomly selected from a special school and each special unit, and all the 10 head teachers to form a sample size of 90 respondent. In testing the validity of the research instrument the researcher applied content validity where the experts' opinions from Kenya Methodist University from the department of education validated the instruments. Kuder Richardson formula 20 was used to test the reliability of the research instruments which yielded a reliability value of 0.85. Data analysis was carried out using statistical package for social scientist (SPSS). The study established that 6 (15. 0%) of the teachers had a special training on autism while a significant majority 34 (85.0%) did not. Majority of the teachers 28 (70%) stated that teaching and learning materials were inadequate, therefore more resources are required. Two medical management services are offered where a significant majority 36 (90.0%) observe dieting and 4(10.0%) practice craniosacral therapy which is only carried out in the special school. Twenty one (52.5%) of the teachers use behavioral therapy as educational intervention, 2 (5.0%) practiced Packing and treatment education of autistic and related communication handicapped children (TEACCH) in each intervention. A significant majority of parents (79%) responded positively to the theme of love and acceptance. Many parents had this positive attitude towards their autistic children because the disability bill in the new constitution proposed that parents of disabled children will be paid monthly income for their maintenance by the government. The researcher• recommends the Ministry of Education to train more personnel to handle learners with autism and establish more autism schools, pre-vocational and vocational centers for learners with autism to acquire functional skills that are relevant for self reliance.