The purpose of this paper was to describe the experiences of four children with autism spectrum disorder navigating around the corridors of an unfamiliar school and translate the findings into poetic format. Poetry could provide a more accessible format to a nonacademic audience and promote empathy and understanding about this population.
Each participant was shown a route from the start point to the destination by the researcher then asked to lead the way there. Post-study, participants were interviewed for their perceptions and feelings about navigating.
Participants' responses and behaviors differed, e.g. some were stimulated by colors, some noticed small details and some were distracted. Poetic translation vividly emphasized these behaviors and emotions.
Few studies have described how children with autism navigate the built environment or asked their opinion about navigating. None in the field have used poetic translation to explore data.
Thanks to Linda Grierson-Irish for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
Irish, J.E.N. (2021), "From prose to poetry: retelling the experiences of children with autism navigating around a school to promote empathy and understanding", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 483-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-10-2020-0137
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