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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Paradigms, patients and treatment: A rhetorical analysis of disparate approaches to the treatment of autism
by Connell-Giammatteo, Ayelet, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2010, 228; 3430561
Abstract (Summary)

Perhaps the only thing more difficult about understanding autism is trying to understand what constitutes the best treatment approach to the disorder. Many disciplines have attempted to meet the challenges presented by autism, each one advocating a different approach to its treatment, while at the same time, a number of clinicians and researchers are calling for a more collaborative approach to treatment. This call for collaboration is not without its difficulties. But the very multi-faceted nature of the disorder itself suggests that we require an integrated, collaborative approach. The focus of this study is to search for a common ground across such disparate disciplines. The methodological tool chosen for this study is rhetorical analysis. This type of qualitative approach can transcend the many disciplinary boundaries represented in the field to reveal ideological beliefs, lines of controversy, areas of agreement and, most importantly, opportunities for collaborative research and treatment. This study begins with the assumption that scientists are, first and foremost, a community of language users, working to persuade one another of values and beliefs just as any other community does. The assumption that the discourses of science and rhetoric are intimately related forms the methodological basis for this study. This study focuses on two approaches to the treatment of autism, one from the traditional medical community: Early Intervention Behavioral Treatment (EIBT), and one from the complementary medical community, Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT). The heart of this study is the comparison and contrast of the rhetoric of the discourse of EIBT and IMT. This analysis revealed many of the underlying beliefs and values of each worldview. Additionally, the analysis highlighted the ways in which various authors used particular rhetorical strategies to persuade the reader to embrace their worldview and share their perspective about the appropriate way to treat autism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McAndrews, Bob
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Alternative Medicine, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Alternative medicine, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Autism, Lovaas, Manual therapy, Rhetorical analysis, Treatment approaches
Publication Number: 3430561
ISBN: 978-1-124-30336-9
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