Autism, usually termed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a set of disorders characterized by poor social abilities and skills, as well as repetitive patterns in communication and speech. Also, most children who have autism do not tend to respond to their names (Granpeesheh 35). A typical example is a case presented in which kelvin is somewhat “reluctant” to state his name when his teacher asks him his name. Kevin’s colleague helps him respond to the question by stating his name. In this dimension, autism manifests in children and confers special effects that affect the life of the child in different dimensions. Below is an analysis of an encounter with two autistic children.
In analyzing the autistic children, there is a procedure that can be taken to ensure that the process is a success. Sometimes, noticing or learning the existence of autism in children is quite an uphill task, and therefore, caregivers and teachers handling children, for a better part of their time, are useful in identifying these disorders. In this case, they help in identifying the early signs of the disorder such as the absence or delay in spoken language like it is Kevin’s case (Pierangelo and Guiliani 202). Schools, as such, are the best places to observe autistic children for two significant reasons. One, they tend to be more social and engaged with their teachers, as well as colleagues, and two, school activities, such as group discussions stimulate them to attempt various activities that elucidate the landscape of the disorder among them (McDonald 213).
Procedures and Methods
The creation of this project relied on existing information regarding two autistic children. It considered actual footage of a teacher engaging two autistic children. The session happened after the official class session in which the teacher engaged the two students on a one-on-one basis. In this manner, the project was a home-made because the review did not take place in the actual classroom.
The Field notes: Note-taking and Note-making
Note-taking is the passive act of noting down points under a live scene. Note-making, on the other hand, is the actual act of assimilating already noted information (Hargreaves and Crabb 61). In this context, there is a characteristic note to be taken and assimilated. Typical examples of the notes taken include Kevin’s pattern of speech, his response, his colleague’s act of persuading him to answer with particular answers he suggests, their body language, and lastly, the context of their communication. The notes taken inform note-making, and in this dimension, there is much to make out of Kevin’s behavior, ability to effectively respond to the questions cast to him by the teacher without his colleague’s influence, his colleagues ability to understand the teacher’s questions and come up with answers for them, and lastly, Kevin’s body language.
(a) Ethnographic sketch, about the context, gives a detailed description of the culture of the individuals in question (Moore 65). In this part, it describes the culture or landscape of the two autistic children. It reveals their communication patterns and behavior under such circumstances.
(b) The setting describes the physical environment in which communication takes place (Hass et al. 7). In Kelvin’s case, communication took place in an office. It was quite crowded and housed various learning materials.
(c) Kelvin was not interested in the conversation. His colleague, however, was interested in the conversation and his enthusiasm pushed him to help Kelvin participate. The teacher was utterly persuasive, and he wanted to engage Kelvin than the other child.
The following transcript is a segment of the video. It is extracted between 01: 05 to 01: 37
Teacher: “Kevin, do you like that lollipop?”
Child: Say, “Yes!”
Teacher: say it loudly…
Teacher: say, “yes.”
Child: Louder. Louder… say, “Yes!” louder…
Kevin: Louder! Yes!
Child: he said, “yes!”
Teacher: (while pointing at the basket on the table), what is your favorite dessert in here?
Research Findings: Pragmatics
Pragmatics is a branch of linguistics concerned with the study of contextualized language (Buron, Wolfberg, and Gray 78). It focuses on language as it is used under particular circumstances to provide a deep insight into what language is under such circumstances and how it is used and why it is used as such. As a result, a varying landscape of interlocuters manifests, and below is a countdown of three dimensions based on distinct parameters.
(a) In the sample video provided, there is a variety of non-verbal forms of communication. The use of these means of communication is contextualized to fit the autistic children and their caregivers. They facilitate the communication between the two parties whenever need arises (White and Gardner 13). They include;
· Touch or haptics
· Kinesics (“Aspects of Non-verbal Communication”).
· Behavior like sound and symbols
(b) social language use is the framework through which children use language under social constructs (Östman, J.-O., Verschueren, and Jasper 1). They use of social language comes with rules governing its use. These rules oversee smooth exchange between communicating partners (Grandin and Barron 284). In the recording, the following rules were evident;
- Maintaining eye contact
- Exploiting facial expressions (“Social Communication”)
- Talking one at a time
- Limiting the conversation within the topic
- Specificity on the topic of discussion
- Clarification whenever necessary, to enhance understanding.
- Using expressions and maintaining eye contact during conversation
- Ensuring proximity to the other party while talking to him or her.
It is a lesson that autistic children are never interested in conversations courtesy of their inability to communicate well. In the case of the two autistic children, the teacher was persuasive in talking to the two children. Various factors, therefore, manifested in the scene. It encompassed the context, pragmatics, as well as the ethnographic sketch under which the conversation took place.
“Aspects of Nonverbal Communication.” Internet TESL Journal (For ESL/EFL Teachers)
Grandin, Temple, and Sean Barron. The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships. Arlington, Tex: Future Horizons, 2015. Print.
Granpeesheh, Doreen, et al. Evidence-based treatment for children with autism: the CARD model. Elsevier, 2014.
Gray, Carol. Learners on the autism spectrum: Preparing highly qualified educators. AAPC Publishing, 2008.
Hargreaves, Sandra, and Jamie Crabb. Study Skills for Students with Dyslexia: Support for Specific Learning Differences (splds). , 2016. Print.
Hass, Larry, Leonardo Mazzei, and Donal O’Leary. Setting Standards for Communication and Governance: The Example of Infrastructure Projects. Washington, D.C: World Bank, 2007. Internet resource.
Jaspers, Jürgen, Jef Verschueren, and Jan-Ola Östman, eds. Society and language use. Vol. 7. John Benjamins Publishing, 2010.
McDonald, Jasmine. How Parents Deal with the Education of Their Child on the Autism Spectrum: The Stories and Research They Don’t and Won’t Tell You. Springer, 2014.
Moore, G. Alexander. “Chiefs, Scribes, and Ethnographers: Kuna Culture from Inside and Out by James Howe.” American Anthropologist 113.4 (2011): 678-679.