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Engaging the feeling and will of children with autism through the medium of colour

Pauli, Diana Mary (2004)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This is a case study of the role of feeling and will in interaction with children with autism. It investigates the use of changing colours of light for enhancement of engagement at this level. The research was carried out in a specially designed room where the whole interior colour could be changed using dimmer-controlled lights. 19 children aged between 8 and 17 years with a diagnosis of severe autism were involved in the study. Data were collected using video recordings, a research diary and small-scale informal interviews and were analysed by quantitative and qualitative methods. Three main stages were developed. These involved observations of behaviour of children in different colours of light, of children interacting directly with changing coloured light, and of intensive interaction augmented by changing colour moods. The main findings were that colour could affect behaviour and that in general reds were more arousing than blues and greens. Some children engaged readily in interaction with changing coloured lights, though many did not. When changing colour was used in conjunction with intentional creation of affect by an adult during intensive interaction, improvements in social engagement and communication skills were observed.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Lacey, Penny
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Education
Department:Education
Additional Information:

The accompanying video material is not available in this web version.

Subjects:LC Special aspects of education
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:67
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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