A comparison of two models of support for students with autism spectrum disorder in school and predictors of school success

Mark Carter*, Jennifer Stephenson, Trevor Clark, Debra Costley, Jon Martin, Katrina Williams, Susan Bruck, Louise Davies, Leah Browne, Naomi Sweller

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: There is little comparative data on models of support for children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in school. The objectives of this research were (1) to compare the outcomes of two service delivery models (Autism Spectrum Australia satellite support class and Autism SA consultative model) that were designed to facilitate the support of children with ASD in mainstream schools and (2) to examine factors that were associated with successful outcomes. Method: A total of 90 students were followed 6-monthly for up to 7 rounds (3.5 years). Primary outcomes of interest included continuity of placement, school engagement and adjustment, perceived success of placement, and parent/teacher/principal satisfaction with service delivery. Results: Continuity of placement was relatively high in both models. There were no differences in child outcome across the models but the parents in the satellite model rated placement success higher, albeit in the context of high overall ratings in both groups. Parents and principals also rated satisfaction with support higher in the satellite model but transitions from the model into regular classes were low during the period of the study. Teacher rated academic skill predicted child social skills as well as engagement and adjustment, child problem behavior negatively predicted parent and teacher rating of placement success and adaptive behavior predicted teacher and principal rating of placement success. Conclusions: The present study offers insight into possible program and child related predictors of a range of outcome measures. Implications for the respective service delivery models and directions for future research are presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number101452
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


    • ASD
    • educational support models
    • school success


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