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Title:Navigating Autism During Early Childhood
Author(s):Hogirala, Keerthana
Contributor(s):Fowler, Susan
Subject(s):Autistic Child at home
Individual Plan of Study
Abstract:To understand how culture and income affects how parents seek medical and academic resources for their autistic children during early childhood, I travelled to Visakhapatnam, India to conduct field research for my thesis. That's where I observed the child in this image, Keerthana. After meeting with parents, teachers, and medical professionals, I began to understand what little networked support was available for autistic children. Dealing with autism is undoubtedly complicated. Learning your young child has it in a country that doesn't fully understand and accept neurological conditions nor support comprehensive research and education through efficient policy and funding is even more so. Solutions parents implemented were patched together from various, typically conflicting sources and mostly their own experiences. Keerthana's mother, for instance, was highly adaptive, but that wasn't always sufficient to help her daughter's often hyper and indiscernible behavior, such as energetically clinging to the television for stretches of time, as shown in the image. But I saw great resilience where there was resolute familial support. Families pushed through and found a sort of isolated happiness focusing on the positive in their child. Ultimately, parents needed to feel a connection with their child as much as their child needed them. Awarded Honorable Mention in the Undergraduate Image of Research Contest 2016. For more information about the Image of Research--Undergraduate Edition go to:
Issue Date:2016-04
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Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Keerthana Hogirala
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-25

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