Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Art Education


Art Education

First Advisor

Ryan M Patton

Second Advisor

Pamela G Taylor

Third Advisor

Courtnie N. Wolfgang


This study focuses on the highly expressive comic drawings of Amy, a child with autism. This study connects larger fields of research: the study of how people with autism spectrum disorder [ASD] process faces and emotions; and, research about artists with ASD. Amy's understanding of emotion was analyzed by asking her to view and identify humans and cartoon characters expressing different emotions. Her ability to illustrate emotion is tested by asking her to respond to various drawing prompts. The study concluded that Amy has difficulty identifying the emotions of humans and cartoons, but she does have the ability to illustrate characters that express a range of emotions. This individual case study shows that students with autism were able to process visual expressions of emotion with a high degree of accuracy. The results provide art educators a model with which to investigate how their students with autism process emotional expression.


© M. Sean Collins

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Date of Submission