A narrative exploration of sense-making, self, and identity in young people diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition

Samra, H. Sam (2016). A narrative exploration of sense-making, self, and identity in young people diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition. University of Birmingham. Ed.Psych.D.

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Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs) are part of the life course of some individuals and as such there are significant implications in relation to matters of identity and the need to ensure educational and professional practices are considered from an ethical perspective as related to self and identity.

However, despite the wide ranging literature in the area of autism, there is very little research that examines identity in relation to young people with ASCs. Furthermore, where identity is noted as an important consideration, the concept is often inadequately theorised and explained with reference to psychological frameworks of identity.

This study draws on narrative psychology and the concept of narrative identity (McAdams, 2011) to explore what insider perspectives, gained through life story accounts of lived experience, can tell us about processes related to sense-making, self and identity in young people with a diagnosis of a ASC.

The findings revealed that the participants were actively engaged in sense-making of their experiences and in the production of narrative identities. A rich and complex picture of identities emerged that went beyond the label of autism. The narrative accounts demonstrated the heterogeneity amongst participants and the need for understandings at the individual level in order to promote a person-centred approach to practice, education, interventions and ethics.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6719


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