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Autism Spectrum Disorder in French children's literature: an analysis of portrayals of children with autism in the light of the DSM-5

Abstract : Children’s books featuring characters with disabilities can be used as awareness-raising tools in educational situations. We analyzed a corpus of 61 children’s books about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that were published in French between 2000 and 2019. Via a thematic analysis of the books’ contents, comparing books aimed at three age groups (3−5 years, 6−8 years, 9−11 years) and three publication periods (1999−2005, 2006−2012, 2013−2019), we assessed the correspondence between the books’ presentations of ASD and the scientific definition of autism set out in the DSM-5. The books’ descriptions of ASD cover all of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, and this was the case whatever the target age, although books aimed at older readers provided more detailed descriptions of ASD. The number of books about ASD for young children has increased greatly in recent years, but we did not find any change in the quality of the descriptions of ASD. In addition to the DSM-5 criteria, the books evoke other behavioral characteristics of children with ASD. These criteria, together with the context in which the stories are set (family, school, cultural), must be considered when assessing a book’s educational potential. In addition, comparisons of books from different countries can throw light on international and intercultural differences in representations of ASD.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02951673
Contributor : Benoît Schneider <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2020 - 7:12:05 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 3:12:22 AM

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Lise Lemoine, Benoit Schneider. Autism Spectrum Disorder in French children's literature: an analysis of portrayals of children with autism in the light of the DSM-5. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Elsevier, 2021, 80, pp.101675. ⟨10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101675⟩. ⟨hal-02951673⟩

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