Sparaci - Phenomenology and Cog Sci 2008

Embodying gestures: The Social Orienting Model and the study of early gestures in autism
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

Laura Sparaci
University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy

Autistic spectrum disorders impair the ability to interact socially. Detecting and understanding their onset is not only an empirical enterprise, but also a theoretical one, often linked to studies on intersubjectivity. Different theoretical perspectives have been elaborated in the past to account for the deficit. The main purpose of this paper is to reinforce and offer empirical grounding to a recent approach, termed Social Orienting Model, by presenting the main theoretical approaches to autism and contrasting them to this view, as well as considering its possible effect on empirical research, focusing on current literature analyzing gestures in children with autism.

Keywords Autism - Social Orienting Model - Gestures - Intersubjectivity - Embodiment

Received: 3 July 2007 Accepted: 30 November 2007 Published online: 28 December 2007

ISSN 1568-7759 (Print) 1572-8676 (Online)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-007-9084-9