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Research Article Critique: “Does Animation Facilitate Understanding of Graphic Symbols Representing Verbs in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder?”

In an article, “does animation facilitate understanding of graphic symbols representing verbs in children with autism spectrum disorder?” The authors are investigating what affects animations on the identification of graphic cyphers. The research involves using Autism Language Program Graphics Cyphers in children established with mild-to-severe Autism Spectrum ailment at the age of 3 to 7 years. Therefore, this paper provides an article critique of the above research article.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to various challenges such as repetitive behaviors, social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication. Therefore, the author’s research is fundamental since roughly 30% of children with ASD present little or no efficient address by nine years (Arnett et al., 2019). Apart from using the traditional augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system to complement or replace children’s natural speech, they can also rely on graphic symbols that make non-electronic or electronic AAC systems. There traditional AAC system used to supplement natural speech involves standard orthography. However, other children with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less help. Hence the research is critical for providing an electronic AAC system for children who cannot supplement their lesson with traditional orthography. Although autism signs may appear in children of age 2 or 3, the researchers correctly chose children of ages 3 to 7 years since some signs may delay some children. However, they should have included children as young as 18 months since some associated development delays can appear even earlier. According to the studies, people with autism can develop positive outcomes with early diagnosis and interventions.


The article shows that the animation made the graphic symbols more accessible. Conversely, it is demonstrated that 80% of the children with ASD were in animated condition. Also, it has been shown that there were high-performance categories for the animated symbol compared to a static sign. Therefore, the animation for the graphic logo indicates that it helped so much in giving meaning from the provided figures. However, the research focused mainly on the graphic symbols; the accuracy level was poor compared to if the researcher had used a photograph for this particular population. It is because of static graphic symbols. The static symbol is a symbol that does not robotically change as time pass by, such as an image.

Ultimately, photographs would be more effective and efficient in these findings as they provided more accurate information. This is because of the following reasons. Unlike graphic symbols, pictures are considered more realistic, as they capture the real thing than the characters to represent children with ASD (Gevarter et al .,2020). The photograph also would be more vital because of its static nature; that is, it doesn’t easily change automatically as time continues to elapse compared to the graphic line drawing used for this research.

The animation is given in the research; they do not remedy this disorder ASD. Therefore, these children suffering from this disorder may not even understand the symbols outside the particular category.


One of the methods used in this study was observing the sample population of 27 children between 3 and 7 years. The observation was the most appropriate method since the researcher can understand the respondents’ feelings rather than asking them like in interviews. The researcher can only look, hear and see what the respondents are going through when doing the study. Secondly, the information obtained by observation is more reliable because the researcher can quickly test the reliability of their behavior. In this case, the researchers can tell whether the respondents’ feeling is the one mentioned by simply hearing the way one pronounces some words and the fastness of the speech. Observation is also a simple method because the researchers did not require any training to take the study; everybody observes in their daily lives. In addition, though some respondents might not be willing to give information, observation may not necessarily require one to respond to questions; the researcher can only see, hear or smell without the respondents’ knowledge.

Experiments were used to collect information on the sample population. These experiments were done in quiet rooms that were manageable to parents, teachers, and behaviour analysts. By isolating the participants, the researchers can control each variable and the viability tests and achieve accurate results. However, the controlling can be done so that the data obtained is leaning towards the desired result. Though children from various schools, areas, and clinics were included in the experiment, those with minimal symptoms were excluded, who would have played a significant role in the investigation by following an inclusion criterion. One of the limitations of this study is those only school-aged children with mild and severe conditions of autism, excluding those with minimal indications. It is also not known whether the findings are compelling for other groups of childhood autism.

Furthermore, this study was done in quiet rooms where all the natural conditions were replicated, which helped limit the variables’ unpredictability. Noise from the outside surrounding was controlled and made it possible to experiment without much disturbance. However, this experiment was interfered with by parents and teachers who were not part of the behavior specialists.

Furthermore, this study adopted records as one of the methods to gather information. Parent records, schools, and the records obtained from speech-language pathologists were used to diagnose autistic children. Though the records could be helpful, the facts obtained might have been outdated and not applicable to the study. Furthermore, the process of assessing the records is time-consuming. This article has stated methodological experiences in autistic children in qualitative research concerning their daily lives and comfort. Autistic children are usually represented by their parents or teachers, making their voices and perspectives not included in the study because of the lack of knowledge to involve them. One of the limitations of this study is that it does not consider qualitative approaches, i.e., focus group interviews, casual interviews, journals, and videos.


Arnett, A. B., Trinh, S., & Bernier, R. A. (2019). The state of research on the genetics of autism spectrum disorder: methodological, clinical and conceptual progress. Current opinion in psychology27, 1-5.

Gevarter, C., Horan, K., & Sigafoos, J. (2020). Teaching preschoolers with autism to use different speech-generating device display formats during play: Intervention and secondary factors. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools51(3), 821-838.

Schlosser, R. W., Brock, K. L., Koul, R., Shane, H., & Flynn, S. (2019). Does animation facilitate understanding of graphic symbols representing verbs in children with autism spectrum disorder?. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research62(4), 965- 978.


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