This research study investigates the manifestations of the core deficits of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the writing process of three school-aged individuals diagnosed with this disorder. A qualitative research design was employed in order uncover the effects of the core deficits on the social interactions surrounding a constructivist approach to writing development. The ethnographic methods used during this investigation allowed the identification behavioral strategies employed as a result of the core deficits of ASD as they occurred during the authentic context of interest. The results of this study suggest underlying cognitive deficits described as an inaccurate locus of joint attention, rigid and restrictive conceptualizations of the writing process, and non-social use of the writing process. These underlying cognitive capacities decrease the ability of the individual with ASD to engage in the writing process in conventionally appropriate and effective manners. In response to a social constructivist approach to the writing process, the manifestations of the core deficits changed in each of the three participants followed in this study to include the establishment of joint action routines, integrated conceptualizations of the writing process, and the emergent use of writing for social purposes. The results of this research investigation support the theoretical standing of pragmatics as an emergent epiphenomenon (Perkins, 2005). For the three participants in this investigation, the social use of both the writing process and of written language emerged as other core capacities in social interaction and rigid conceptualizations responded to the social constructivist approaches employed in this study. As the writing process and written language became part of the social interactions of these IASD, the communicative functions of writing became apparent as a way to share their interests and experiences with others.
|Advisor:||Damico, Jack S.|
|Commitee:||Damico, Holly, Nelson, Ryan L., 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:||Language arts, Speech therapy|
|Keywords:||Autism spectrum disorders, Constructivism, Core deficits, Language intervention, Qualitative research, Writing process|
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