Date of Award

Winter 1-11-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Lillie Huddleston, PhD

Abstract

Research suggests children with autism gravitate towards visual rather than social communication, and do so with a leveled understanding. For example, studies show, children with ASD receive a black and white cartoon drawing differently than a color photograph. Based on this notion, this study explores a form of art making with photographs as a foundation to facilitate artistic expression and communication. Children and their immediate families were photographed against a white background. These photographs were printed out and given to the child to “finish” the picture with whatever material they find comfortable. A total of two participants were included in this study. One participant produced three drawings on photographs and the other produced four paintings on photographs. The final products suggest that this method of combining the photographic level of understanding with a free-form method of communication—art—may be of significant use to facilitating an alternative form of communication for children with autism.

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