Given the CDC’s report of a 30% increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses over the past two years, it is important to increase awareness and educate teachers and students in both general and special education classrooms. One way to bridge the gap between students with and without ASD is to use authentic narrative fiction as a teaching tool. The goal of this study was to identify aspects of stories with characters with ASD that contribute to authentic and accurate depictions. Insights were elicited from focus groups that included insiders, individuals or family members with ASD, and educators who work with students with ASD. The participants read, reviewed, and discussed fictional narratives that highlighted a character with ASD. Various themes emerged from the focus groups regarding views on authentic and accurate ASD depictions. Discussion and suggestions are presented for future use of narrative fiction in raising awareness in educational settings.
Cardon, T., & Kelley, J. E. (2016). Fictional Narratives about Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Focus Group Analysis and Insight. Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 55 (3). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol55/iss3/1