Benefits of Photography for Autistic Students
Admin Nov 04, 2019
Autism is a broad range of conditions challenging a person’s social skills, speech, non-verbal communication, repetitive behaviours and hampering everyday learning. Studies on autistic behaviour remain limited to the experimenter’s limited stimuli – The lens of his camera!
Motivation is an inner state that energizes, boosts, directs and channels us to fulfill our behavioural goals. The concept is used in our everyday life, whether be it to visit school early in the morning, attending a gym class, struggling against the odds at the job, etc. It leads us to realize the importance of the end goal.
As for autistic children, learning is distorted if presented simply. Photographs of two choices such as one preferred and another non-preferred choice increase a child’s accuracy. Eg- Two photos one of the bubbles and the other of cucumber salad is shown, the child picks the preferred one, in this case, bubbles and it gets the communicator to understand the child’s accuracy of making choices. An individual with autism is also highly focused on the presented situation and has increased attention ability without a provision of incentive or supervision. So the child’s attitude towards a photograph could depict a clearer picture of his/her state of mind and the direction to motivate him to do things would be clearer to caretakers.
Autistic children are also higher on Fluid intelligence, defined as:
The ability to find meaning in confusion and solve new problems, understanding relationships and independent of acquired knowledge, hence photographs could be perceived differently by each child and hence a novel inference could be made to his observation. Helping him to broaden his horizon and developing a viewpoint. Autism also leads to spending time mostly with oneself, which apart from being secluded and reserved has an optimistic repercussion – It leads to Independent and unique thinking and not just conforming to what’s herd mentality. Photographs could act as a window to the outside world and the child involved could start to relate to things or situations around him and thus facing life situations with ease.
Those with the disorder also score high on visual or three-dimensional thinking. Photographs add to our visual creativity as it may depict something unusual. It could be a source to magnify a child’s reoccurring thoughts and painting his mind’s canvas in a different hue. No two children going through autism are the same, their traits could be similar, but their ideas are so unique as compared to another child of his age. Visual imagery helps in differentiating a child based on his reaction and choice towards a particular visual. Focusing on his ability could help a communicator understand his preferences, interests and aptitude and a little help could let him fulfill his hidden dreams.
Autistic children also imply logic over emotion. While they score relatively high on emotional intelligence but ironically due to high ‘computing’ in their minds, their approach towards problem-solving is logical. Henceforth on presenting a photograph to the child involved may result in him evaluating it as being rational or irrational rather than being a happy or a sad image.
In 2018 a study was conducted to determine how many children were born with autism. The results were moving. CDC (Centre for disease control and prevention) evaluated that 1 in every 59 children is born with autism. Also concluding 1 in every 37 boys and 1 in every 151 girls are born with autism. But those born with autism do not just depict their capability in terms of a disorder but they are as capable even if not more as someone born without being on the autism spectrum. With a little more focus and help in initial years can bring a difference to each child who was said to be not normal.
At JPHS, which is one of the best CBSE school in Jaipur, we promote photography for autistic students for their better learning and understanding.