Hatice Şengül Erdem


Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely to have regression in acquired skills in summer than typically developing peers, while parents have also more limited options to provide summer alternatives for their children. This study aimed to understand perspectives of parents of children with ASD and pre-service teachers volunteered on a social enhancement summer program delivered through a university for children with ASD. Semi-structured interviews were performed with both participant groups along with focus group discussion with volunteers, while an inductive analysis process was used for data analysis. The analysis of data obtained from both parents and volunteers revealed three main themes along with related subthemes: (a) the need for summer program, (b) suggestions for effective summer program, and (c) benefits of the summer program. The perspectives of two groups of participants generally overlap and they demonstrate similar thoughts. The results show that summer programs can be an effective alternative to maintain the current level of children with ASD in summers.


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summer program, autism spectrum disorders, perspectives, volunteering, social skill

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