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An invitation to the margins: the role of touch in the organization of interactions involving autistic children in the context of early childhood education

Grant number: 23/00907-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2023
Effective date (End): April 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Fernanda Miranda da Cruz
Grantee:Vitória Sellito de Melo
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This project aims to examine and systematize touch occurrences that play a role in the organization of naturalistic interactions involving autistic children. From an embodied interaction perspective (STREECK, GOODWIN, LeBARON, 2011; MONDADA, 2014; EKSTRÖM, CEKAITE, 2020; CEKAITE, 2020), it will investigate if and how autistic children and non-autistic interlocutors (adults and children) take part in an ecology of embodied actions (MONDADA, 2014b) to coordinate their interactions. Autism is a neurological condition affecting communication and social interaction skills (DSM-5, 2014). The corpus is based on interactions in which the emergence of touch occurs among autistic children and interlocutors. The audiovisual data is recorded in a public childhood educational school. Interactions will be recorded on video. The records will be segmented using the multimodal notation software ELAN, and transcribed using two conventions for multimodal transcription: Mondada's multimodal transcription convention (2019) to describe the embodied conducts and Jefferson's convention (2004) to describe the speech conducts. The findings will be described and systematized with the touch typology proposed by Bergnehr and Cekaite (2017). The findings will be discussed with the interactional studies on touch and with the descriptive-interactional perspective of interactions involving autistic individuals (STERPONI et al., 2015; STERPONI and KIRBY, 2016; MAYNARD and TUROWETZ, 2017). This research contributes to understanding the use of touch as a sensory and multimodal resource in human interactions and, more specifically, in interactions in which autistic children participate.

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