Inclusion of Children on the Autism Spectrum in School

In the INCLASS project, three tools are being developed to support school staff in mainstream schools in implementing autism-sensitive inclusive teaching: a digital training platform and a self-assessment tool, as well as a smartphone app to identify individual barriers of individual autistic children.

Project Description
At least one percentage of all school children are located in the autism-spectrum. Today, more and more autistic children1 can attend mainstream schools. At the same time, educational professionals often lack the knowledge and resources to adequately teach children on the autism spectrum. This affects not least the socio-emotional well-being and the educational success of these children.

This is where INCLASS comes in and aims to support school staff in mainstream schools with the development of training and assessment tools with three components:

The first component is a digital training tool that teaches school staff important skills for autism-sensitive inclusive teaching and extracurricular interactions with autistic children.

As a second component, a self-assessment tool helps school staff to assess their knowledge, beliefs, and motivation regarding autism-sensitive education and thus receive an individual recommendation for specific training content. This tool is also used to evaluate the content of the digital training platform.

The third component is a prototype of a smartphone app that can be used by educational professionals together with the autistic children to gain insights into the children’s individual barriers. In the app, autistic children can indicate how the school day was for them. Based on these daily assessments, teachers gain relevant information about the individual autistic children and can respond to them appropriately.

The digital training platform and the self-assessment tool as well as a prototype of the app will be made available to all schools free of charge as an open educational resource.

1 In the current discourse there are different terms, among others the spectrum term as well as autistic/autist, both of which we use in the context of the project. At the same time, we distance ourselves from any form of pathologizing terminology.

Principal Investigators
Kathrin Berdelmann
Charlotte Dignath
Marcus Hasselhorn
Mareike Kunter
Florian Schmiedek

Project Team
Theresa Serratore
Nick Gerrit Hasche
Maike Knodt

Leibniz Association

Selected Publications

Berdelmann, K. (2023). Neurodiversität und Wissen über Autismus im pädagogischen Fachdiskurs – eine historisch vergleichende Perspektive. In M. Grummt & M. Richter  (Eds.), Autismus und Neurodiversität. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Berdelmann, K., Schmiedek, F., & Hasselhorn, M. (2021). Inklusion von Kindern mit Autismus-Spektrum-Störung. In C. Mähler & M. Hasselhorn (Eds.), Inklusion: Chancen und Herausforderungen (Tests und Trends der pädagogisch-psychologischen Diagnostik, Vol. 18, pp. 185-202). Göttingen: Hogrefe. doi:10.1026/03147-000