USING DEPICTIONS OF CHARACTERS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS CLASSROOM
thesisposted on 16.12.2020, 02:54 by Tashina A Lee
Autism Spectrum Disorder is an increasingly common developmental disability. Students diagnosed with ASD can be challenging to incorporate into mainstream classrooms due to a lack of understanding and negative attitudes of neurotypical peers towards those students. This thesis aims to address the problem in a unit plan centered on the use of young adult literature with a main protagonist on the Spectrum in the English Language Arts classroom. Specifically, it argues the use of such texts in conjunction with a literature circles unit in providing better understanding and greater acceptance of students with ASD. The unit and lesson plans were written to reflect how Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, Bishop’s windows, doors, and mirrors , and the texts students read can influence their thinking and behavior. Using goodreads and local ELA book lists, I selected four YAL texts which portrayed the main character with ASD as they go about their daily lives. These texts were then incorporated into the twenty-lesson unit plan which aims at supporting positive attitudes and acceptance of neurotypical students towards their peers with ASD.