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Selected Research Project
Project Title

Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Ordinary Schools: Design and Evaluation of a Culturally Sensitive Holistic Inclusive Model

Principal Investigator Professor Lo Sing Kai
Area of Research Project

Teaching and Learning Research

Project Period
From 11/2012 To 11/2015

1. To design and implement an intensive training course for classroom teachers of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that will integrate the three intervention strategies: social story sentence structure (auditory format), TEACCH (visual support), and positive behavior support (preventive and proactive measures; strength-based approach) into a consolidated teaching model;

2. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed model in terms of the academic and social performance of students with ASD. Further consideration will be given to the difference between primary and secondary school settings.

Methods Used
  1. This study is an important attempt to derive an evidence-based teaching model for learners with ASD that is culturally sensitive to Chinese speaking populations.
  2. Quantitative outcome measures (student participants’ academic reports and teacher participants’ self-reported ratings; video-taping of student classroom behavior ) are collected at pre-, midway, and post-intervention stages.
  3. For the qualitative outcomes, interviews are conducted among teacher participants, parents, student participants and their classmates in order to obtain feedback on learning and teaching.
  1. This study is an important attempt to derive an evidence-based teaching model for learners with ASD that is culturally sensitive to Chinese speaking populations.
  2. The proposed consolidated teaching model based on a holistic and facilitating conceptual framework could potentially have a big impact on teacher education for inclusive practice in school settings and environments in Asian countries.
  3. The present study is timely from the practical perspective given the urgent need for consolidation of teacher professional development for inclusive education into school-based application.
Summary of Findings
  1. Teachers trained by consolidated teaching model have significant improvement on their awareness and efficacy on inclusive practice compared to those who do not trained by consolidated teaching model.
  2. The academic and social performance of students with ASD who were taught by consolidated teaching model are significantly improved compared with students did not taught by consolidated teaching model.
  3. Qualitative data (case study, interview, teachers’ feedback and suggestions) support and triangulate the quantitative results.
  1. The effect of the integrative teaching model on academic and social performance of students with ASD
  2. The efficacy of TEACCH program for Persons with ASD: A Systematic Review;
  3. A systematic review: the efficacy of Positive Behavior Support for persons with ASD);
  4. Teachers’ awareness of inclusive education for primary and secondary students with ASD: an investigation in Hong Kong.

Figure: Flowchart for data collection

  • Teacher training Course: one in-depth interactive course: The innovative and holistic approach based on the conceptual framework and principles of the three well-developed intervention strategies – social story, TEACCH and positive behavior support
  • SACIE: The sentiments, Attitudes and Concerns about Inclusive Education Scale
  • TEIP: The Teacher Efficacy for Inclusive Practice
  • ISOQ: Intervention Specific Outcome Questionnaire
  • ABC-C: The Chinese Version of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist
Biography of Principal Investigator

After graduating from the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, Professor Lo had been an academic staff in a number of universities in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Prior to joining HKIEd, he was Associate Dean of Research at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia; overseeing the Higher Degree by Research Program in the Health Faculty and coordinating research collaborations with China. He has a solid track record in securing research incomes; and has published over 200 articles, mainly in journals with high impact factors. He has also won numerous teaching awards. He has a strong background in capacity building; and is particularly experienced in providing mentorship services to early and mid-career researchers.

Funding Source
General Research Fund