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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Investigation of How School Age Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Use Writing as a Socio-Cultural Tool in the Context of a Meaning Based Literacy Environment
by Maxwell, Jamie M., Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2015, 263; 10002469
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation, employing a social constructivist orientation, investigated the socialization behaviors employed by school age children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the context of meaning-based writing activities. A qualitative investigation, this study used ethnographic methods to describe and interpret the social behaviors of the individual participants throughout the writing events. Data in the form of audio and video recordings, participant observations, artifacts, and parent interviews for three participants with ASD were collected over the course of one academic semester during group social, literacy-based intervention. The manifestations of socialization evidenced during micro analysis of a primary data set were described in detail and triangulated via multiple secondary data sources. Findings demonstrate that all three participants oriented uniquely to socialization within the writing events.

Though the participants all evidenced unique manifestations of socialization, their behaviors could be conceptualized into broad patterns. Results of this study describe five patterns of the manifestations of socialization across all three participants; these included employment of social compensatory strategies, conceptualization of shared writing process as a social interaction, social monitoring behaviors, conceptualization of writing as something to be shared, and using writing as an opportunity to socialize/affiliate. Three additional patterns noted include participants being more successful with clinicians than peers, clinician mediation of peer-peer interactions, and breakdowns in coherence.

Clinical research implications drawn from the results include the importance of a strengths-based, contextualized approach to assessment and intervention and the value of the peer group, and the unique opportunities meaning-based writing intervention s can provide for addressing socialization. Research implications address the notion of social impairment as a distinct category of impairment as problematic.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Damico, Jack S.
Commitee: Damico, Holly, Nelson, Ryan, Roussel, Nancye
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Applied Language and Speech Sciences
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Speech therapy, Special education
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders, Literacy, Social-constructivism, Strengths-based, Writing
Publication Number: 10002469
ISBN: 978-1-339-41977-0
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