Autism and education-Teacher policy in Europe: Policy mapping of Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic.


BACKGROUND: This report maps autism and special education needs (SEN) policies, alongside teacher responsibilities in the education of children with SEN in Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. METHODS AND PROCEDURE: A policy path analysis using a scoping review as an underlying methodological framework was performed. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: The end of communism and accession to the European Union were critical for the countries under study. They passed crucial policies after international policies and adopted a three-stream approach towards providing education: (1) special schools; (2) special classes in mainstream schools; or (3) mainstream classes. Special schools remain for children that cannot participate in mainstream schools. Teachers are given high levels of responsibility. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Changes in international guidance greatly impacted Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The education systems aim for inclusion, though segregation remains for children that cannot thrive in mainstream schools. Teachers are pivotal in the education of children with SEN, more so than with typical children.