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Exploring the Effects of a Biopoem Writing Intervention on Middle School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Asaro-Saddler, Kristie; Ellis-Robinson, Tammy; Eacker, Halley

doi: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000179
Original Articles

The purpose of this study was to explore how poetry writing can promote growth in social cognition, writing, and disciplinary literacy for middle school students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. An interpretive qualitative content analysis design was used to explore the instructional discourse and written products of the participants during a writing intervention using biopoems to learn about important people in history. Main findings indicated that participants were able to recognize and use emotion/perspective taking words, that the biopoem structure was effective in organizing their writing and enhancing word choice, and that they demonstrated disciplinary literacy through perspective taking and identification of historical significance. The discourse that accompanied the biopoem lessons included evidence of thinking processes and emerging understandings that resulted from the writing process. The context of conversation also allowed for higher order thinking and intertextuality to occur. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, University at Albany, Albany, New York.

Corresponding Author: Kristie Asaro-Saddler, PhD, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, ED 231, Albany, NY 12222 (

The authors have indicated that they have no financial and no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

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