More than a Passing Grade: Fostering Positive Psychological Outcomes for Mainstreamed Students with Autism

  • Jessica A. Myers
  • Julia Ladner
  • Susan M. Koger
Original Article


This paper argues that children and adolescents with autism will achieve the best psychological outcomes if they are taught to live successfully in the mainstream world while still being allowed to explore and embrace their autistic identities. Connections between the history of deaf education and the current state of education for students with autism are explored, and potentially effective inclusion-promoting techniques are examined. The importance of bicultural identity formation for minority members (including disabled or disordered children) is emphasized, with research showing that an individual’s sense of belonging to both the mainstream culture as well as his/her minority culture has a large impact on his/her self-esteem levels and later psychological outcomes. Suggestions for future research practices and educational setting reforms are made.


Autism identity Bicultural identity Deaf culture Self-esteem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica A. Myers
    • 1
  • Julia Ladner
    • 1
  • Susan M. Koger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWillamette UniversitySalemUSA

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