Title

A modified hermeneutic phenomenological approach toward individuals who have autism

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Newman, C, Cashin, AJ & Waters, CD 2010, 'A modified hermeneutic phenomenological approach toward individuals who have autism', Research in Nursing & Health, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 265-271.

The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nur.20382

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Individuals with autism have a unique cognitive processing style characterized by impaired abstraction, impaired theory of mind, and visual as opposed to linguistic processing of information. A consequence of this unique cognitive processing style is that traditional ways of hermeneutical phenomenological examination may be inadequate to achieve the kind of understanding of experience toward which this method is directed. In order to stay true to Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology, we needed to develop modifications to this research methodology, which include the use of visual aids to promote participant engagement and access the eidetic memory of a participant with autism, so as to elicit concrete descriptors of an experience.