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Description of communication and expression of emotions of a teenager with high-functioning autism using drama activities

Vesna Vilčnik (2015) Description of communication and expression of emotions of a teenager with high-functioning autism using drama activities. Specalisation's thesis.

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    The specialist part of the thesis discusses communication and expression of emotions of a teenager with high-functioning autism, discordant mental abilities and suspected hyperkinetic disorder. In addition, the teenager suffers from selective mutism and shows a great interest in trains and timetables. The thesis examines the possibility to approach the teenager with high-functioning autism by use of drama activities and theatrical techniques as well as other art-related therapeutic methods and consequently gain as much information regarding his communication and expression of emotions as possible. Moreover, the thesis studies whether art techniques can help develop and improve his social skills, his verbal and non-verbal communication and influence on his ability to focus. The case study is carried out as a qualitative interpretive action research. Among others, I introduce a special copyright method of research »8 wagons« which includes elements of theatrical activities that consistently apply to the teenager's particular interest. An integral part of the research represents a questionnaire which the teenager fills out (either orally or in writing) after each meeting and is thematically related to the drama activities of each wagon. The teenager's wish is to become a train driver and it is noteworthy that certain interests of people with high-functioning autism eventually become their source of revenue, permanent employment or even career. I would also like to point out a special appendix to the thesis - a comparative analysis of autobiographical short film about the mentioned teenager, which is a graduate work of young director Katarina Morano of the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana, with the survey's results. Interviews with Benjamin's mother, brother, teachers, special pedagogy teacher, psychologist, director Katarina Morano and his peers are another important contribution to the description of Benjamin's communication and emotions. The action research results of the qualitative study of the teenager with high-functioning autism show that various theatrical techniques, drama activities and other art-related methods, such as music and dance activities, greatly contributed to the teenager's (and my own) understanding of his way of communication and emotion expression. With the help of drama activities, the teenager managed to improve his verbal and non-verbal communication, gained new social skills and developed greater ability to focus.

    Item Type: Thesis (Specalisation's thesis)
    Keywords: High-functioning autism, assistance with drama activities, drama therapy, verbal and non-verbal communication, social skills, selective mutism
    Number of Pages: 135
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. Alenka VidrihMentor
    doc. dr. Martina OzbičComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10853449)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3289
    Date Deposited: 30 Dec 2015 10:27
    Last Modified: 30 Dec 2015 10:27
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3289

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