A Phenomenologically Sensitized Analysis of Images Depicting Stressed Embodiment in an Adolescent Male with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Each person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) comes with unique characteristics (idiosyncratic) that give clues to the world they know (Connolly, 2008). It is through their body that they (a) know the world they are experiencing, (b) make meaning, and (c) express certain behaviours. I used Laban’s Movement Analysis (LMA) to practice an attuned and appreciative approach to describing and understanding the body movement in one severe manifestation of autism in an adolescent male. LMA observes human movement across many disciplines and can be applied in many contexts providing a body honoring discourse for description (Connolly, 2008). The framework examines movement in body, space, quality, and relation. Each theme provides a detailed description of the individual’s movement, thus, giving us a richer understanding of patterns and possible triggers to self-injurious behaviours (SIB). During the summer of August 2013, I participated in Brock University’s annual Autism Camp and worked with a 15 year old male named “Aaron” who manifests with low functioning autism. The purpose of my research project was to code and analyze a series of photos taken to help gain insight into movement patterns associated with stressed embodiment and self-injury in “Aaron”. As I understood more about these embodied expressions, I uncovered valuable information on how to read patterns and discover what triggers these events, thus providing strategies on how to help people do more refined observations and make meaning of the behaviour. Laban’s movement analysis provided a sensitized discourse appropriate to the embodied expressions depicted in the photos.