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Reimagining Autism: How drama environments can aid the diagnosis and understanding of autism

Newman, Hannah (2018) Reimagining Autism: How drama environments can aid the diagnosis and understanding of autism. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:69565)


Using the practical approaches developed for the research project, Imagining Autism, the PhD investigates whether engagement in a play-based drama environment can help aid the diagnostic process and understanding of autism. The research has used drama workshops to see if these can enhance the profile of strengths, difficulties and differences obtained in a more traditional clinical diagnostic assessment. The exploratory study also seeks to see whether the ADOS (the clinical assessment tool) can be completed in a different environment and if there is agreement between the two settings on these scores. In addition to this, what supplementary information may be provided about the individuals because of their engagement in this drama environment. Eight participants (aged 3 - 11 years) were recruited through the NHS and had gone through the clinical assessment. They engaged in the arctic environment twice, where they encountered puppets, props and full-body characters e.g. the slapstick snowman, in play-based interactions with trained practitioners. The sessions were documented and analysis occurred afterwards, using a novel coding framework, and additional information obtained from parents and practitioners. These were then compared to the clinical assessment scores and reports, to test the hypotheses. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis will compare the two sets of information from the different environments, seeking to present a more holistic and rounded view, focusing not only on the difficulties but also on the strengths of the individual.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Shaughnessy, Nicola
Thesis advisor: Beadle-Brown, Julie
Thesis advisor: Trimingham, Melissa
Uncontrolled keywords: autism, autism spectrum conditions, autistic spectrum disorder, diagnosis, drama, theatre, arts
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:18 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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