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Drawing Out Inner Feelings: The Visual Expression and Recognition of Emotions in the Art of Children with Autism

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Drawing Out Inner Feelings: The Visual Expression and Recognition of Emotions in the Art of Children with Autism

Longard, Julie C. P. (2011) Drawing Out Inner Feelings: The Visual Expression and Recognition of Emotions in the Art of Children with Autism. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This pilot research was undertaken in order to explore the visual expression and recognition of emotions in the art of high-functioning early school-aged children with autism. Children with autism have social and communication impairments which limit their ability to express and recognize emotions. The current study explored the expression and recognition of emotions in the drawings of children with and without autism in two stages. Firstly, a small sample of eight children with and without autism created drawings of four emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. Secondly, a larger group of thirty-two children with and without autism looked at these emotional drawings and chose which of the four emotions they recognized in each of the thirty-two drawings. Interestingly, drawings made by children with autism received significantly higher ratings of agreement than drawings made by typically developing children. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the performance of children with and without autism in their ability to recognize the intended emotion in the drawings. This offers some preliminary evidence that some children with autism may be able to recognize the intended emotion in drawings just as well as their typically developing peers. Findings from this preliminary study suggest that artistic expression and recognition of emotion may be potential strengths in some children with autism. This paper suggests avenues for further research and discusses some important applications to art therapy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Longard, Julie C. P.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:12 April 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gericke, Irene and Bryson, Susan E.
Keywords:art, drawing, emotion, expression, recognition, children, autism
ID Code:7243
Deposited By: JULIE LONGARD
Deposited On:19 Jan 2016 18:12
Last Modified:05 Feb 2019 21:08
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