This research project will help MEfA meet its aim, 'to promote, conduct and engage in research into autism, and to publish the useful results of such research'.
· The sample of children and families will be self-selecting - this will help to avoid bias;
· Information about the programme will be distributed widely to ensure equity of access;
· Children and families will be accepted onto the programme on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Qualitative: parents and others involved in the children's day-to-day lives will contribute to questionnaires at the beginning and end of the programme;
• Quantitative: We will measure children's performance against identified indicators at the beginning and end of the programme.
• What concerns do early years children with autism have that securely developing children do not?
• What differences can Montessori Therapy make for these children?
• Can the reasons for any successes in the programme be
a) identified? b) replicated?
Key Indicators include difficulty with the triad of impairment known to accompany autism:
• Social and Emotional;
• Language and Communication;
• Flexibility of Thought (Imagination).
• Interviews with medical and educational professionals concerned with Autism in early years children;
• Research into current magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings about brain development and damage in young children with autism.
Who is paying for the Research?
• MEfA is setting up a specific fund raising initiative to pay for the project.
Intended Use of Research Findings
• Montessori Education for Autism expects to roll out Montessori Play Therapy for children with Autism, and conditions related to Autism in a continuum;
• The findings of our research will underpin the efficacy of our work going forward, and
• will provide us with evaluations of value-for-money for our sponsors.