A Whole Other World to See: A Rhetorical and Visual Analysis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children’s Literature

Kayla Way

Student Name: Kayla Way
Major(s): Communication Studies
Minor(s): Art History
Advisor: Dr. Melissa Rizzo Weller & Dr. Denise Bostdorff
The purpose of this study was to complete an analysis of children’s literature on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Specifically, I analyze My Friend with Autism, Andy and His Yellow Frisbee, and Nathan’s Autism Spectrum Superpowers. To complete my study, I conducted a visual and rhetorical analysis to find the positive and negative aspects in each book. To determine whether the criteria for positive and negative aspects I used past scholarly information on disability in children’s literature. I analyze each book individually as well as a collective group of works to compare and contrast the components. One implication is all three children in the story had some sort of a protector to help them along while also shielding them from others. Based on my findings I constructed a children’s book about ASD with the positive aspects from my analysis. My book strives to bridge the gap to be inclusive for both children with and or without ASD.

Kayla will be online to field comments on April 16: Noon-2 pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 2, 2021.