Creating Communicative Opportunities for Autistic Children
Keywords:Autism, communication, language, pedagogy
Our approach to working with children with autism in this article is not about the engagement philosophies but rather at a social communicative level, not just hearing and seeing but listening and understanding, therefore, communicating respect and dignity to the child. This article provides case examples from a qualitative research project on the literacy practices of children with autism. The role of the qualitative researcher in this project is to seek to advance knowledge to assist practice and policy. This article sets out to engage you in considering how you connect and communicate with autistic children in your practice. It is about communication and what communication might look like if we open our understanding to all possibilities. It is also about the balance of agency in the learning environment for children with autism.
Bondy, A. S., & Frost, L. A. (1994). The Picture Exchange Communication System. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 9(3), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/108835769400900301.
Conn, C. (2014) Autism and the Social World of Childhood: A Sociocultural Perspective on Theory and Practice. Oxon: Routledge
Cregan, A (1998) Developing Language and Literacy: The role of the teacher. In G. Sheil & U. Ní Dalaigh (Eds.), Developing Language and Literacy: The role of the teacher. Dublin: Reading Association of Ireland.
Davies, G. (2012) Communication. In S. Powell, & R. Jordan (Eds), Autism and Learning: A guide to good practice (2nd ed.). London: Routledge
De Jaegher, H. (2013). Embodiment and sense-making in autism. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7, 15.
Feiler, A., Andrews, J., Greenhough, P., Hughes, M., Johnson, D., Scanlan, M., & Ching Yee, W. (2007) Improving Primary Literacy: Linking home and school. London: Routledge.
Fletcher-Watson, S. & Happé, F. (2019) Autism: A new introduction to psychological theory and current debate. Oxon: Routledge.
Gernsbacher, M. A. (2017) Editorial Perspective: The use of person-first language in scholarly writing may accentuate stigma. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Vol 58 (7), 859-861.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1978) Language as Social Semiotics: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London: Edward Arnold.
Hedegaard, M. & Munk, K. (2019) Play and Life Competencies as Core in Transitions from Kindergarten to School: Tensions between Values in Early Childhood Education. In M. Hedegaard & M. Fleer (Eds) Children’s Transitions in Everyday Life and Institutions. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Kenny, L., Hattersley, C., Molins, B., Buckley, C., Povey, C., & Pellicano, E. (2016) Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism Vol 20 (4), 442-462.
Malaguzzi, L. (1996). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
McGough, A. (2018) Communication and Language in Schools: New Emphases and New Opportunities for Teaching and Learning. REACH Journal of Special Needs Education in Ireland. Vol.31 (1), 2-21.
Nadel, J. and Peze, A. (1993). What makes immediate imitation communicative in toddlers and autistic children? In J. Nadel & L. Camaioni (Eds) (1993) New perspectives in early development. 139–156. London: Routledge.
Odom, S. L., Thompson, J. L., Hedges, S., Boyd, B. A., Dykstra, J. R., Duda, M. A. Szidon, K. L., Smith, L. E. and Bord, A. (2015). Technology-Aided Interventions and Instruction for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism Development Disorder, 45, 3805-3819
O’Síoráin, C. A. (2018) An Inquiry into the Literacy Practices of Pupils with Autism in Mainstream Primary Settings in the Republic of Ireland. (Unpublished thesis) Dublin: School of Education, Trinity College.
Powell, S. & Jordan, R. (2012) Autism and Learning: A guide to good practice (2nd ed). London: Routledge.
Rhea, P. (2008) Interventions to Improve Communication in Autism. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic of North America, 17, 835-856.
Shiel, G., Cregan, Á., McGough, A., and Archer, P. (2012), Oral language in Early Childhood and Primary Education (3-8 years) Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
Skinner, B. (1957) Verbal Behaviour. London: Copley Publishing Group.
Stake, R. (2010) Qualitative Research: Studying how things work. London: Guilford Press.
Tincani, M. & Zawacki, J. (2012) Evidenced-Based Practices for Communication Skills Acquisition. In E. E. Barton &B. Harn (Eds) Educating Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. London: Sage.
Twomey, M. & Carroll, C. (2018) Seen and Heard: Exploring participation, engagement and voice for children with disabilities. Oxford: Peter Lang.
Valentino, L. A. Shillingsburg, M. A. Conine, E. D. & Powell, M. N. (2012). Decreasing Echolalia of Instruction “Say” During Echoic Training Through Use of Cues-Pause-Point Procedure. Journal of Behavioural Education, 21 (4), 315-328.
Weisleder, A. & Fernald, A. (2013) Talking to Children Matters: Early language experience strengthens processing and builds vocabulary. Psychological Science, 24, 2143-2152
Wetherby, A. M., & Prizant, B. (2005) Enhancing Language and Communication Development in Autism Spectrum Disorders: assessment and intervention guidelines. In D. Zager (Ed.), Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identification, education and treatment (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 REACH: Journal of Inclusive Education in Ireland
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to REACH: Journal of Inclusive Education in Ireland retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License allowing third parties to share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following terms:
- Attribution (BY): You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NonCommercial (NC): You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- NoDerivatives (ND): If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Learn more about Creative Commons licensing.