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‘It gives them a place to be proud’: Music and social inclusion. Two diverse cases of young First Nations people diagnosed with autism in British Columbia, Canada
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9637-5338
2017 (English)In: Psychology of Music, ISSN 0305-7356, E-ISSN 1741-3087, Vol. 45, no 2, p. 268-282Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Growing up and becoming an active participant in society can be challenging for young people. Factors such as ethnicity, disability and gender can, separately, pose difficulties. When combined, they can develop into insurmountable obstacles. The use of music interventions and activities to overcome some of these obstacles is explored in this article, using two cases of young First Nations people diagnosed with autism, in British Columbia, Canada. Although there are similarities, the differences in severity of ASD, place of residence and school situation, to mention a few factors, make a huge difference in their daily lives. Their contrasting possibilities to be present and participate in society may have implications for their social inclusion in adulthood. Results show that both traditional and contemporary music interventions can provide foundations for inclusion and they need to be carefully designed for each individual.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 45, no 2, p. 268-282
Keyword [en]
autism, First Nations, music, social inclusion, young people
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-44694DOI: 10.1177/0305735616659553ISI: 000400099100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-44694DiVA, id: diva2:952478
Funder
The Kempe FoundationsLars Hierta Memorial FoundationHelge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse
Available from: 2016-08-14 Created: 2016-08-14 Last updated: 2018-01-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Stepping out of the shadows of colonialism to the beat of the drum: The meaning of music for five First Nations children with autism in British Columbia, Canada
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stepping out of the shadows of colonialism to the beat of the drum: The meaning of music for five First Nations children with autism in British Columbia, Canada
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation set out to examine the meaning of music for First Nations childrenwith autism in BC, Canada. The research questions addressed were: How can thediagnosis of ASD be seen through a First Nations lens? How do the First Nationschildren with ASD use music? In which ways is music used in different domains?In which ways is music used to facilitate inclusion? How is traditional music used?The dissertation is based on four original articles that span over the issues of under-detection of autism among First Nations children in BC, ethnographic fieldwork,and the paradigmatic shift to Indigenist research methodologies, the role of music insocial inclusion and a First Nations lens on autism, the use of Indigenous music withFirst Nations children with autism, put in context with First Nations children’s rights.Material was collected during six week periods in two consecutive years, generatingdata from conversations, follow-up conversations, observations, video-filmed observations,and notes. Post-colonial BC, Canada is the context of the research, and issuesof social inclusion and children’s rights are addressed. During the research process,a journey that began with an ethnographic approach led to an Indigenist paradigm.It was found that colonial residue and effects of historical trauma can influenceFirst Nations children being under-detected for autism. The First Nations childrendiagnosed with autism in this study use music in similar ways to typically developingchildren and non-Indigenous individuals with autism. These uses include for communicationand relaxation, for security and happiness, to soothe oneself and whenstudying. However, music interventions in school settings are not culturally sensitive.Music as a tool for inclusion is overlooked and Indigenous music not utilizedoutside of optional Aboriginal classes. The most important lesson of the study wasthe significance of reciprocal experience, emphasized by the Indigenist paradigm. Itcan be suggested that carefully designed, culturally sensitive music interventions,in collaboration with traditional knowledge holders and Elders, would be beneficialfor the development of First Nations children with autism. Consequently, culturallysensitive music interventions could have potential to ensure that the children’s rightsare respected. For these interventions to be culturally adequate, specific IndigenousKnowledge must be the foundation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jyväskylä: Grano Oy, 2017. p. 67
Series
Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Dissertations in Education, Humanities, and Theology, ISSN 1798-5633 ; 101
Keyword
First Nations, Autism, Music, Indigenist research methodologies, Inclusion
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-48442 (URN)978-952-61-2430-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-04-21, AT 100, Agora building, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus, Joensuu, 12:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse The Kempe FoundationsLars Hierta Memorial Foundation
Available from: 2017-05-12 Created: 2017-05-01 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved

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