Autism Spectrum disorders affect one in 110 children in the United States today. Research has found that 60% of individuals with autism also have a learning disability in the area of writing (Calhoun & Mayes, 2006). Previously, the "fascinations" or "obsessions" of individuals with autism have been viewed as a deficit. No study to date has determined if written expression can be improved by incorporating special interests. Utilizing a strength-based model, the purpose of this study was to determine if Special Interest Areas affect writing quality for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Five participants in grades 2-5 were interviewed to determine their interest areas and each participant was provided with four writing prompts; two teacher-selected prompts and two SIA-based writing prompts. The results of this study indicate that Special Interest Areas positively affect writing quality for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of Education degree in the College of Education and Human Service Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2010 This item has been modified from the original to redact the signatures present.
University of Minnesota, Duluth. College of Education and Human Service Professions
Stories from the Spectrum: How Special Interest Areas Affect Writing Quality for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
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