NAFOL profile: Kathrin Olsen

Kathrin OlsenThe aim of the study, is to get more knowledge about what can prevent and promote learning in children with ASD. Hopefully, the knowledge from the study can be used to develop more facilitated learning to children with ASD. The study is designed as a case study, were the case is “learning trajectories in children with ASD”, and various methods are being used to enlighten the subject.

I am a PhD student at Nord University, on leave of absence from my job as a lecturer at the same college. I lecture the subjects’ pedagogy and special needs education. My interest for children with ASD runs out of my previous job as a special needs teacher in kindergarten, working with children with ASD, and also from working at the Autism Unit at Nordland hospital, where my job was to supervise parents and teachers in facilitating learning to children with ASD. In ASD research, the importance of individualized of training is highlighted. Problems with individualized training are often explained by conditions in the milieu, characteristics of the child and the interaction between the child and the environment. More knowledge about these conditions is needed. At the same time, there are other conditions which can also affect children with ASD learning trajectories, such as the diagnosis and the prevailing educational discourse, which will interact with available learning resources. These perspectives will be examined in my research, in which I wish to highlight learning possibilities in children with ASD. In the research process I have also become interested to know how terms like participation, democracy and social inclusion are understood and used in education for children with ASD.

Abstract (docx file)