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Learning from experience: A thematic analysis of parent narratives concerning the emotional lives of young children with autism and without language.

Wu, Hui-Fen (2016) Learning from experience: A thematic analysis of parent narratives concerning the emotional lives of young children with autism and without language. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Understanding of autism has changed dramatically during the last 70 years. One change which is beginning to occur relates to the emotionality of young children with autism although it is an aspect of their lives which can still be overlooked and sometimes completely disregarded. The DSM-V, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, 2013, continues to significantly underestimate the emotional lives of individuals with autism (Wu, 2013). This study sets out to question the conceptualisation of emotionality in children with autism, and focuses on the emotional lives of non-verbal young children with autism, in the hope of making an improvement to the efficacy of service responses. However, given the centrality of parents in the lives of those children with autism and who are without language, it is the views of the parents about the emotional lives of their children during their early years which are examined through a thematic analysis of narrative accounts from two families in the UK and two families in Taiwan. What emerges from these parental accounts is their understanding of a fundamental complexity of individuals with autism. There is little evidence to suggest that children with autism experience emotions differently and indeed the parental narratives in this study suggest that children with autism experience a range of emotions and can enjoy a sense of humour, develop relationships and have preferences. Recommendations are made that children with autism must be considered by professionals and those who offer ‘treatment’, as human beings with emotionality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Autism; Emotion; Narrative; Young children; Emotional lives; Non-verbal
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680590
Depositing User: Ms Hui-Fen Wu
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2016 12:39
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11800

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