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Cracking The Code: The Impact of Computer Coding on the Interactions of a Child with Autism


"This paper reports on the communication patterns of two students in two settings: the elementary school classroom and the computer lab. One child was diagnosed with autism and the other was neurotypical. These students participated in a computer science curriculum designed for upper elementary school children (grades 4-5; ages 9-10), featuring block-based coding. The computer science instruction occurred in an inclusive general education setting. Analysis of video data revealed the child with autism communicated more (in terms of both total time speaking and interactions initiated) in the computer lab than was observed in the traditional classroom setting. Opposite trends were observed for the neurotypical child."