Abraham Gitonga Mutua, Joyce A. Ogogo


The study sought to establish peer-support strategies used in decreasing out-of-seat behaviour for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders in special schools, in Embu County, Kenya. The study used Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This theory states that the motivation of human needs is acquired at different levels. The study adopted a survey research design. The study target population were 25 headteachers, 48 teachers, 65 parents and 5 EARCS from 2 special schools and 23 special units in Embu County. Purposive sampling was employed. The sample size constituted 20% of 25 schools, 5 head teachers, 32 teachers, 10 parents, and 5 EARCs translating to 62 respondents. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the headteachers and teachers, an interview schedule was conducted on parents/guardians and an observation checklist was used to observe learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders in class. Piloting was done at St. Monica School for Intellectual Disabled to enhance the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer presented program and findings were presented in form of frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie charts. Findings of the study revealed that most teachers have existing self-management techniques aimed at reducing out-of-seat behavior. The pupils were generally happy with the techniques the teachers had set together. Similarly, the teachers were happy to carry out the existing peer support techniques to reduce out-of-seat behavior. Most teachers strongly agreed that by observing what peers do, children develop self-efficiency. The study concluded that the use of peer support strategies play a significant role in behaviour change among children with ASD because the strategy enables them to come together, share experience and decide on solutions to a common challenge. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education should put in place measures to compel schools through monitoring and capacity building such as training to ensure that SNE learners’ are appropriately placed. The government should allocate extra funds to public primary special schools to help them procure materials for SNE learners to prepare the schools for the implementation of SNE curriculum. Further research should be carried out in all counties in Kenya on peer-support strategies for decreasing out-of-seat behaviour in learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Similarly, other areas regarding learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders should be explored.


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Autism Spectrum Disorders, peer support strategies, out-of-seat behavior, peer

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