Animating Characters and Experiencing Selves: A Look at Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Constructing Fictional Storyboards with Typically Developing Peers

  • Kristen Bottema-Beutel
  • Laura Sterponi
  • Rebecca Louick
Part of the The Language of Mental Health book series (TLMH)


In this chapter, Bottema-Beutel and colleagues explore ways in which adolescents with ASD experience self and others through a fictional storyboard. They describe two spheres of relating to others: the sphere of character action and the sphere of audience reception. Analyses suggest it is not the experience of self or other per se that is at risk in individuals with ASD but flexibility with which self and other are brought into being. Too rigid adherence to explicit sociocultural conventions can result in enactments of the other that are not aligned with the interlocutors’ enactment of similar others. The authors argue that it is not only mental state language into which we should look for insights about a sense of self and relatedness displayed by individuals with ASD. Autistic understanding of self and others is enactive and sociocultural; it is rooted in action and convention.


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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Bottema-Beutel
    • 1
  • Laura Sterponi
    • 2
  • Rebecca Louick
    • 1
  1. 1.Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeBostonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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