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Abstract

This paper entitled ‘Non-Verbal Communication by Autistic Children’ was conducted with the aim to find out the components of kinesics as a part of nonverbal communication expressed by autistic children when interacting with their teachers at SLB ABC Taman Pendidikan Islam. Beside that this study also intended to know the meanings of those kinesics components expressed by autistic children when interacting with their teachers. This research used a descriptive qualitative approach by applying kinesics theory by Ray Birdwhistell. The data collection techniques were conducted by using non-participant observation techniques and documentation. The documents used to support this study were in the form of photographs and video recorder that showed the communication done by the autistic children with their teachers during the learning process in the class. The results showed that although autistic children cannot interact clearly through verbal communication, they can express their desires through non verbal communication. They can communicate by expressing it through facial expressions, eye contact, body movement, posture and touch. The meaning of the non-verbal communication expressed by each autistic child has a different meaning. This study also intended to give worthy contribution to all people who want to understand the non-verbal communication of autistic children.
ELS-JISH
ELS Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies on Humanities
Volume 3 Issue 4, 2020
ISSN (print) : 2621-0843
ISSN (online) : 2621-0835
Homepage : http://journal.unhas.ac.id/index.php/jish
492
Non-Verbal Communication by Autistic Children
Irga Safira
1
, Rahmadsyah Rangkuti2, Ely Hayati Nasution3, Yulianus
Harefa4
1irgasafira19@gmail.com
Abstract
This paper entitled ‘Non-Verbal Communication by Autistic Children’ was conducted with the
aim to find out the components of kinesics as a part of nonverbal communication expressed by
autistic children when interacting with their teachers at SLB ABC Taman Pendidikan Islam.
Beside that this study also intended to know the meanings of those kinesics components
expressed by autistic children when interacting with their teachers. This research used a
descriptive qualitative approach by applying kinesics theory by Ray Birdwhistell. The data
collection techniques were conducted by using non-participant observation techniques and
documentation. The documents used to support this study were in the form of photographs and
video recorder that showed the communication done by the autistic children with their teachers
during the learning process in the class. The results showed that although autistic children
cannot interact clearly through verbal communication, they can express their desires through
non verbal communication. They can communicate by expressing it through facial expressions,
eye contact, body movement, posture and touch. The meaning of the non-verbal
communication expressed by each autistic child has a different meaning. This study also
intended to give worthy contribution to all people who want to understand the non-verbal
communication of autistic children.
Keywords: Autistic Children, Non-Verbal Communication, Kinesics
How to cite: Safira, I. et al. (2020). Non-Verbal Communication by Autistic Children. ELS
Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 3(4), 492-505. DOI:
https://doi.org/10.34050/elsjish.v3i4.8065
1. Introduction
Humans always carry out social interactions with each other because they
cannot live alone. Communication is very important for people to help them
interact with other humans and to convey their ideas. The definition of
communication in terminology means the delivery of statements by someone to
others as a consequence of social relations (Sunardi, 2007). The understanding
of communication here emphasizes communication as a tool of social relations
and as a consequence of humans as social beings..
Quill cited in (Gardner, 1999) states that communication is a dynamic
process in which there is an encoding process of the messenger and decoding
of the recipient of the message. There is an exchange of information and
1
,2,3,4 Universitas Sumatera Utara,Medan, Indonesia
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delivery of feelings (involving emotions); there is a certain goal and there is an
idea. From the notion of communication, it can be said that communication
always involves two individuals or more and most importantly is the desire,
intent, message or purpose of the sender of the message can be received and
understood by the recipient of the message.
Communication is an important aspect of expressing feelings, ideas,
desires, and needs. To communicate, a tool is needed. The main tool in
communication is language (Jordan & Powell, 1995). It means that both
communication and language cannot be separated. Language is needed for
communication, involving either verbal or non-verbal language. It is known that
in human’s communication, there are two essential aspects, they are verbal
communication and non-verbal communication (Borg, 2009).
The verbal communication is concerned with the spoken language to
convey messages, whilst, the nonverbal communication is the process of
communicating messages through the use of facial language, the use of touch
and space, gestures, tone of voice and so on. Nonverbal communication is
often used to describe feelings and emotions. If a message received through a
verbal system does not show the strength of the message, then the nonverbal
signs are received as supporters.
The concept of nonverbal communication as a signal in communication is
clearly found in the research conducted by Mehrabian cited in (Borg, 2009) who
argues that firstly, 55% of the meaning in each message comes from visual
body language (movements, attitudes, facial expressions) and secondly, 38% of
the meaning in each message comes from a nonverbal element of words
(vowels ) or in other words; the way in which the words are spoken through the
tone, pattern, and speed of sound, and thirdly, 7% of the meaning comes from
the actual words (contents).
Based on Mehrabian’s research, it can be concluded that half of the
communication used is using nonverbal communication to convey messages.
Nonverbal communication is a message in the form of nonverbal expression,
without a word or language or commonly known as the silent language. Its
function is to complement and even replace the existence of verbal
communication whether through facial expressions, hand movements, and so
on. Nowadays, humans frequently use the non-verbal communication rather
than the verbal communication in interacting with others. They become more
comfortable in using non-verbal communication to express their feelings and
emotions to others. A real example seen in today's era with advancing
technology is that gadgets make people less use of verbal language. They
prefer to use emoticons to express their feelings. They spend more time with
gadgets than spending time with people around them. This includes in a small
family that they rarely communicate with each other when they are together.
They do not realize that they have become an autistic sufferer.
The use of non-verbal communication itself is generally used by autistic
children because of their lack of language that makes them rarely use the
verbal communication (Tammasse, Jumraini, & Rahman, 2019). As Cadette
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said, “Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have limited
communication skills. Most of them having difficulty with communication and
language, as well as social interactions” (Cadette et al., 2016). They have
special uniqueness that is different from other normal human, namely the ability
to respond to something if it gets a normal imbalance directly and also has a
high stimulus response in themselves during the learning process, such as
clapping and flapping hands.
Some other autistic children naturally use other people's body language as
additional instructions to help them learn and understand words (Prevezer et al.,
2009). Alshurman and Alsreaa also added that when autistic children are
trained non-verbal communication skills at an early age, they become more
capable to express their emotions and feelings in more than one way such as
through body gestures and pointing (Alshurman & Alsreaa, 2015). It is important
to learn more about the non-verbal communication expressed by autistic
children in showing their desires. Because the autistic children cannot
communicate verbally like other normal children.
They have a developmental disorder in their growth that is generally seen
in the first three years of their lives. This developmental disorder called as
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Autism Spectrum Disorder experienced
by children with autism affects the way they communicate, interact socially,
imagination and attitude which is a collection of syndromes that interfere with
nerves. That is why this study discussed about the non verbal communication
that expressed by children with autism when they interact with others.
This study is in line with the previous studies conducted by Rukmini
Rasyid with the results of research that basically autistic children are children
who have a developmental disorders that can show diverse nonverbal
behaviors, such as facial expressions, eye contact, body movements and haptic
(Rasyid, 2014). They can expressed it well as a form of a sense of desire to
interact with us. And the meaning of nonverbal communication behavior that
occurs in the autistic children is very different from nonverbal communication
behavior in other normal children.
This research is expected to give beneficial significance for the readers
either theoretical or practical significance. Theoretically, it will give worthy
contribution to all people who want to understand the non-verbal communication
of autistic children. And practically, it will Intensify the people’s concern about
the non-verbal communication and the meaning expressing by autistic children.
2. Method
In this study the researcher using the descriptive qualitative which was
done by doing field work. According to Nana Syaodih Sukmadinata, qualitative
descriptive research is intended to describe existing phenomena, both naturals
and human engineering, which pay more attention to the characteristics, quality,
and interrelationships between activities (Sukmadinata, 2011). In this study, the
researcher used descriptive qualitative design to analyse the data, in which to
understand the forms of kinesics found in autistic children and about the
meaning of those kinesics forms through observation and documentation. This
research was also accompanied by using a case study method. Case study is a
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research method that uses a variety of data sources that can be used to
examine, describe and explain systematically various aspects of individuals,
groups, programs, organizations or events.
The subject of the research became the source of the data consisting of:
a. Five autistic children at Sekolah Luar Biasa ABC Taman Pendidikan Islam
who were selected as the data source in this analysis. The five autistic
children are classified as autistic children who can be trained, which is in
accordance with the object of this research. The autistic children are S.W
(17 year old boy), M.A.M (11 year old boy), F.Y.S (11 year old boy),U.I.A
(15 year old girl), and A.A.N (14 year old boy).
b. The teacher who gave the information about the autistic child in order to
help the researcher in analysing this research.
The data took from the component of non verbal communication related to
kinesics that expressed by autistic children in Sekolah Luar Biasa ABC Taman
Pendidikan Islam. The data obtained then analyzed and described by applying
the theory of kinesics proposed by Ray L. Birdwhistell.
Kinesics is the study of non-verbal communication. The word kinesics is
derived from the Greek word kinsis, with meaning motion. Kinesics
encompasses nonverbal communicatory messages, such as posture, gestures,
and facial expressions, as a method to convey information and emotion. The
term kinesics was officially established by anthropologist Ray L. Birdwhistell in
1952. Birdwhistell states that as little as 30% of information transferred during
conversation is from spoken words (Birdwhistell, 1970). Much of what is
conveyed is through non-linguistic body movement and facial expressions.
Birdwhistell lists seven assumptions that form the basis of his theory,
namely:
1. Like many other natural events, there is no bodily movement or a human
statement without carrying a specific meaning in the context of his
appearance.
2. As with other aspects of human behaviour, the actual appearance of the
body, its movements and expression on the face are a pattern which is the
subject of systematic review.
3. As well as the possibility that the understanding of gestures can be explained
in part biologically, but in other ways systematically the body movements of
members of a particular society can also be explained as a function of the
social system owned by a particular group.
4. Real bodily activities such as the sound wave activity that is heard,
systematically influences the behaviour of other people who are members of
a group.
5. Likewise, there are still other ways that a person exhibits as behaviour so
that it can be explained through an investigation of the communication
function.
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6. An understanding is actually drawn from the functions of one's behaviour and
what it does.
7. Some biological systems and life experiences that are specific to each
person will contribute to the kinesics system they have.
Birdwhistell suggests that every limb such as the face (including smiles
and eyesight), hands, head, legs and even the body as a whole can be used as
symbolic signals. Because we live, all our limbs are always moving
(Birdwhistell, 1979). In the study of nonverbal communication, Birdwhistell
propose several components of kinesics communication, they are facial
expression, eye contact, body movement, posture and haptic (Birdwhistell,
1979).
Facial expression refers to movements or certain conditions of facial
muscles that facilitate nonverbal communication of some thoughts, emotions, or
behaviour. When someone expresses his face, these facial expressions do not
occur separately, but it occurs in groups simultaneously because parts of the
face such as the mouth, lips, nose, eyes, eyebrows, chin, etc., contribute to
each other to form an expression. In addition, there are also other features that
accompany them such as nodding your head or shaking your head and
changing postures and movements.
The study of eye contact is also called as oculesics. It deals with studies of
eye movement, eye behaviour, eye gaze, and eye-related non-verbal
communication. Eye contact is one of the best ways to build positive
relationships and trust each other, just like when we make eye contact with
someone who was talking to us, it will make him feeling be appreciated because
we pay attention to him. Eye contact can indicate degree of attention or interest,
influence attitude change or persuasion, regulate interaction, communicate
emotion, define power and status, and has a central role in managing
impressions of others.
Body movement is the voluntary or involuntary movements of body parts
such as the hands, feet, legs and shoulders, which can strengthen or contradict
with what is verbally communicated. Body movement is a strong indicator of
how you feel, such as nervousness, excitement, and anxiety. For example,
when we win a race, we accidentally raise our hands up by clenching our
fingers like we are holding something while laughing, screaming and smiling.
That thing hinted that we were very happy at that time.
Posture refers to the way people hold themselves back while working, at
social gatherings, or in public places. Posture communicates a lot of information
about you. The way you sit, stand, slump, or slouch gives information about
your gender, status, self-image, attitude, and emotional state. For example,
sitting with your head in your hand often shows that you feel low, whereas
sitting with your feet on the desk may be interpreted by others as a sign of your
feeling of superiority. A slouching body posture can show submissiveness or
fatigue while one's erection signifies dominance or an energetic state of mind.
Haptic studies the sense of touch. Touch, or haptic understanding, is very
important for human development because it provides information about the
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surface and texture, and is vital in conveying physical intimacy in various types
of relationships. As Guerrero cited in (Montagu, 1984) said that touch is very
important for human development; it allows children to reach their full social and
intellectual potential and helps them become comfortable with intimacy. So the
connection of the theory of kinesics with this research is because autistic
children are more dominant using non verbal communication than verbal
communication to convey and receive messages. But the non-verbal
communication they use has meaning which is a substitute for verbal
communication.
The data of this study was obtained from various sources, with using
various data collection techniques that were carried out continuously until the
data were saturated. In accordance with the characteristics of the data needed
in this study, the data collection techniques carried out by using observation and
documentation. The researcher also conducted interviews with the teachers but
only as the second opinion. Because of the condition of autistic students who
have limitations, so the researcher observed and conducted interviews with
teachers who did know the development of their students every day, so that the
data obtained was indeed in accordance with the purpose of this study.
In this study, the researcher conducted direct observations at Sekolah
Luar Biasa ABC Taman Pendidikan Islam. Observation is divided into two
types, namely participant observation and non-participant observation. In this
case, the researcher acts as a non-participant observation where the
researcher directly observes the autistic child in communicating with the teacher
and his environment, starting from the teaching and learning process to
completion.
The documents that are used to support this study in the form of
photographs and video recorder that show the communication carried out by the
autistic child during the learning process in the class. In writing this analysis,
the data has been collected through an observation and documentation from
the communication carried out by the autistic child in SLB ABC Taman
Pendidikan Islam.
3. Findings
While conducting the research in the location, researcher observed five
autistic children who tend to use non-verbal communication in communicating
with their teacher during the learning process. The kinesics components and the
meaning expressed by autistic children during the learning processed are very
diverse, such as facial expression, eye contact, body movement, posture, and
haptic as explained in the followings:
3.1 Kinesics Components and The Meaning Expressed by S.W
S.W is an autistic child with a hyperactive nonverbal type. He is not easily
distracted when someone else is watching him. He used to learn based on his
mood. If he feels happy then he will study well as Mrs. R.H said: "S.W is a child
who has difficulty in speaking and learning depends on mood. But he will be
very focused on his studies if he is in a good mood. He has a good motor
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nerves and he is an active child." The kinesics components and the meaning
expressed by S.W can be seen in the following explanation:
The facial expression that found by S.W are first occurred when the
teacher obeyed what he wanted. He gave the responds to his teacher by
expressing it through his lips curl upwards and his eyes focused on the object
that he wanted. This facial expression means that he was feeling glad. Second
happened when he heard a loud and noisy sounds like when he heard the
sound of his teacher being angry, the sound of people screaming, and the
sound of people crying. Instantaneously his facial expression changed with a
slightly twitching eyebrow expression with eyes looking up, clenched teeth,
mouth closed accompanied by a soft growl. This facial expression means that
he was feeling uncomfortable.
The eye contact that found by S.W are first happened when the lesson
was started. The teacher began to prepare all the equipment for learning such
as taking her pen and writing the lesson material in a book, and at that moment
his eyes focused on seeing his teacher and the eyes also moved in following
every movement made by his teacher. This eye contact means that he was in a
good mood to study. Second occurred while he was studying. His eyes focused
on the task he was working on and occasionally his eyes often glanced at his
teacher. This eye contact means that he wanted to make sure about what he
was doing was correct or not.
The body movement that found by S.W are first occurred when he has
finished praying to start his studies. He wanted to tell something to his teacher,
but he expressed it by his body movement, he grabbed the bag in his chair then
directed the bag to his teacher. This body movement means that he wanted to
start the lesson immediately. Second happened when the teacher asked
whether he wanted to pee or not, he answered the teacher's question trough his
body movement with moved his hand up and down. This body movement
means that he wanted to say "No". He didn’t want to do what his teacher asked.
The posture that found by S.W are first happenend when he started the
lesson. He showed it by his posture with sitting in an upright position facing the
teacher, folding his hands on the table and with his eyes focused on the teacher
or on the book on his desk. This posture means that he wanted to learn. His
mood was good to take lessons at that time. Second occurred when the teacher
did not want to follow what he wanted. He changed his sitting position from
sitting to the front facing his teacher to the position on the left beside his
teacher. This posture means that he was sulking. He was upset because his
teacher didn't want to follow what he wanted.
The haptic that found by S.W are first occurred when his teacher asked
him to say hello to his teacher. He responded by pulling and grasping his
teacher's right hand and then pointing it to his forehead. This haptic means that
it is a response he gave when he was asked to say greetings like
"asssalamualaikum". And when he heard the greeting "good morning", he would
respond it by shaking hands with his teacher. Second happened when his
teacher called his name, he patted slowly on his forehead and both cheeks
using his fingers, and gently patted his chest with his hands. This haptic means
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that he wanted to say "Yes, I am" or "Yes, I am here" when his teacher called
his name. And it was also a response that he understands or realizes that his
name is called by his teacher.
3.2 Kinesics Components and The Meaning Expressed by M.A.M
M.A.M is a passive autistic child. He still cannot talk yet, just like S.W that
has been explained earlier. Although he cannot speak yet, he can express his
feelings by communicating his feeling through non-verbal communication. The
kinesics components and the meaning expressed by M.A.M can be seen in the
following explanation:
The facial expression that found by M.A.M are first occurred when when
he was praised by researcher, the response he gave could be seen from his
facial expression. His lips widened up with the head down and the eyes down.
This facial expression means that he felt ashamed. Second happened when
when his name called by his teacher. He gave the response with the expression
of his eyebrows rised up, his lips opened and then closed again, and his eyes
focused on his teacher. This facial expression means that he wanted say
“What”.
The eye contact that found by M.A.M are first occurred during the learning
process. He focused on seeing his teacher explaining what he would learn that
day. This eye contact means that he was in the good mood to learn. Second
happened while he learned his eyes focused on the task that he did and
occasionally glanced at his teacher's eyes. This eye contact means that he
wanted to make sure about what he was doing was correct. The body
movement that found by M.A.M are first occurred when he was asked whether
the food he ate was delicious or not, he responded it by nodding his head and
eyes staring at the person who invited him to talk. This body movement means
that he wanted to say “Yes”. Second happened when he had not yet started his
lesson. His body moved toward that object and then he reached out his hand to
be able to reach the object. This body movement means that he was curious at
something.
The posture that found by M.A.M are first happenend when he started to
learn the subject that he loved. Sitting up straight facing his teacher, his lips
smiled and slightly opened and his eyes focused on the object that he had on
the table. This posture means that he was happy on learning his favourite
subject. Second occured when he was studying. He showed a posture by sitting
with his head bent to the table and hands resting his chin on the table.This
posture means that he was feeling bored. The haptic that found by M.A.M are
first occured when he got praise from researcher. The response he gave was
through his hands holding his hair with his head bowed and smiling. This haptic
means that he was feeling shame. Second happned when he had managed to
do something asked by his teacher. He usually had a high five with his teacher.
This haptic means that he wanted to express his pleasure because he was able
to do the things that his teacher asked. he did not understand something, he
expressed it with his left hand scratching his head. This haptic means that he
wanted to tell that he didn’t know what to do.
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3.3 Kinesics Components and The Meaning Expressed by F.Y.S
F.Y.S is an active autistic child who has a deficiency in speaking just like
S.W and M.A.M, he tends to use non-verbal communication when
communicating with others. But sometimes he still wants to say one word in
conveying what he wants. And he has good motor skills. The kinesics
components and the meaning expressed by F.Y.S can be seen in the following
explanation:
The facial expression that found by F.Y.S are first occurred when when he
was writing, because he always made a mistake on doing it. He gave a
response to his teacher with the opened mouth, the head looked up, the
eyebrows moving up and down slowly, and the eyes looking at the teacher. This
facial expression means that he wanted to ask to his teacher whether
something that he wrote was correct or wrong. Second happened when he
cannot do the right things on studying with his teacher which made his teacher
became angry with him. The response that he made can be seen from his facial
expression; flat facial expression, mouth closed, eyes closed, and head bowed.
This facial expression means that he was afraid. It is the facial expression he
made when he feels scared.
The eye contact that found by F.Y.S are first occurred during his study. His
eyes focused on the task he was doing and occasionally his eyes glanced at his
teacher who was accompanied by a slight movement of the body backwards.
This eye contact means that he wanted to ask to his teacher whether something
that he wrote was correct or wrong. Second occurred when the teacher was
writing about what they would be learned by him at that time. His eyes focused
on seeing his teacher while the teacher was writing and explaining the lesson
that he would learn. This eye contact means that he was earnestly paying
attention to the lesson that was conveyed by his teacher.
The body movement that found by F.Y.S are first happened when the
teacher called his name, the response he gave was by moving his head up,
furrowing eyebrows, and opening and closing the lips, which all of the
movements were repeated three times as if he wanted to say something but his
voice was not heard. This body movement means that he wanted to say “What”.
Second occured when his teacher told him to take a drinking bottle in his bag,
but he found it difficult to find. He opened his mouth and moved his head up,
then he shooked his head slightly. This body movement means that he wanted
to say “I don’t know.” He could not find the bottle that his teacher asked for.
Third occured when his teacher praised him as a smart child, spontaneously he
immediately sat leaning back, looked away with a smile, then covered his mouth
with both hands. This body movement means that he became uncomfortable
and embarrassed because he was said “smart” by his teacher.
The posture that found by F.Y.S are first occured in the body position that
he was shown when he was studying in class. He sat in a position facing his
teacher, both hands placed on the table with his left hand held while his right
hand held the pencil and with his eyes focused on the teacher. This posture
means that he was seriously in studying. It is his body posture when he was
serious in learning. Second happened when he was always wrong in writing
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letters that were instructed by his teacher. He changed his sitting position from
sitting upright facing his teacher turns into sitting by leaning on the chair, lips
opened and with a blank stare at his teacher. This posture means that it is his
posture when he gave up doing things that were told by his teacher.
The haptic that found by F.Y.S are first happened while he was learning to
write but everything he wrote was wrong. A moment later he touched his right
cheek with his finger and brushed his left cheek with his right hand, and leaned
his body to the chair. This haptic means that he gave up in writing the letter on
his book. Second occurred when he was right to do the task given by his
teacher writing the letter "J" in his book, he got a high five with his teacher. This
haptic means that he wanted to express his pleasure because he was able to
do the things that his teacher asked. Third happened while he was writing
letters in his book. He leaned his body on the bench, his hands touched his
cheeks then rubbed his eyebrows and then his hands covered his face and then
released it again. This haptic means that he wanted to take a rest for a while
when he was studying.
3.4 Kinesics Components and The Meaning Expressed by U.I.A
U.I.A is a passive autistic child who has motor skills that are still relatively
weak. She is almost similar to S.W, F.Y.S and M.A.M who have deficiencies in
speaking and tend to use non-verbal communication more often when
communicating with others. However, she wanted to say one word in conveying
what she wanted. The kinesics components and the meaning expressed by
U.I.A can be seen in the following explanation:
The facial expression that found by U.I.A are first occurred when she
started the lesson with her teacher. She showed a response through that facial
expression with a broad smiley face, pulled up lips and cheeks, slightly opened
mouth, risen up eyebrows, and eyes focused on the book on the table. This
facial expression means that she was happy to follow the lessons given by her
teacher. Second happened when the teacher says the word "smart" to herself,
she responded trough her facial expression like the expression of lips that were
opened and curved upward and teeth were slightly visible. This facial
expression means that she felt very happy. A form of pleasure when she heard
a praise for herself.
The eye contact that found by U.I.A happened when she realized that the
researcher was watching her. The response she gave was a quick glance then
looked away at strangers. This eye contact means that She did not like being
watched or seen by people who she does not know. The body movement that
found by U.I.A are first occurred when she was interested in something. The
response she gave was she immediately stretched out her hands and grabbed
the object she wanted, and accompanied by repetition of the word "want" which
she said verbally. This body movement means that she wanted to show to her
teacher that she wanted to get that thing. Second occurred when she started to
study. She shook her body and her eyes looked at the table as her teacher
pulled out objects that would be used for her to study at the time. This body
movement means that it is her expression of her pleasure when studying.
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The posture that found by U.I.A are first happened to indicate her position
of sitting while learning, namely sitting with both hands on the table and with her
eyes focused on the object (book) on the table. This posture means that she
was in a good mood to study. Second occurred while studying, she sat with her
back leaning on the chair while holding her lips and gazing down. This posture
means that she was tired and she wanted to take a rest. The haptic that found
by U.I.A are first occurred while she was studying. Suddenly she touched her
lips and moved her body backwards to lean back on the chair. This haptic
means that she wanted to rest for a while during the learning process. Second
occurred when she was hard to answer a question gave by her teacher. Then
she showed an expression through her body by leaning to the back of the chair
and scratching her head. This haptic means that she was feeling confused.
3.5 Kinesics Components and The Meaning Expressed by A.A.N
A.A.N is a hyperactive autistic child who also has good motor skills. He
often expresses what he wants through nonverbal communication and also
added by one or two words that complement his communication. Although
sometimes the meaning of the word that he was talking about doesn't make
sense. The kinesics components and the meaning expressed by A.A.N can be
seen in the following explanation:
The facial expression that found by A.A.N are first occurred when he was
curious about the strangers in his class. He was looking at the stranger
(researcher), raising and lowering his eyebrows, and lips widen upwards. This
facial expression means that he wanted to be acquainted with researcher.
Second occurred when he got praise from his teacher. He shows his pleasure
through the expression on his face; mouth widely opened and up, eyebrows
went up, brow slightly frowned, head went up, and eyes widened. This facial
expression means that he was feeling very happy. Third occurred when he was
scolded by his teacher. He shed his tears, widened his lips down, and went
eyes down. This facial expression means that he was feeling so sad. He did not
like being scolded and snapped at.
The eye contact that found by A.A.N are first happened when he started
the lesson. His eyes focused on the book on the table and looked at his
teacher. This eye contact means that he was in the good mood to learn. Second
happened while his eyes focused on the task he was working on and
occasionally his eyes often glanced at his teacher in order to make sure that he
could continue the task or not. This eye contact means that he wanted to make
sure what he was doing was correct. The body movement that found by A.A.N
are first occurred when he got tired of writing. He expressed it through his body
movement-his hand stopped writing and put the pencil on the table, his eyes
looked left and right, and his body leaned at the back of the chair. This body
movement means that he wanted to take a rest. Second happened when the
teacher was not paying attention. He put the lobe (hat) he used on his teacher's
head, then took it back and put it back on his head. This body movement means
that he wanted to play with his teacher.
The posture that found by A.A.N are first happened when he started the
lesson. He was sitting in an upright position looking at his teacher. This posture
Irga Safira. 3(4): 492-505
503
means that he wanted to study or being in a good mood to study. Second
occurred when he started to feel bored. He expressed it by showing his posture
sitting with his head bent to the table and hands resting his chin on the table.
This posture means that he was feeling bored. The haptic that found by A.A.N
are first occurred when he saw a stranger (researcher). He was clapping his
hands while looking at the researcher. This haptic means that he wanted to
attract the researcher’s attention. Second happened when he was not feeling
good. He was biting his hands. This haptic means that he was angry.
4. Discussion
A.A.N is a hyperactive autistic child who also has good motor skills. He
often expresses what he wants through nonverbal communication and also
added by one or two words that complement his communication. Although
sometimes the meaning of the word that he was talking about doesn't make
sense. The kinesics components and the meaning expressed by A.A.N can be
seen in the following explanation:
The facial expression that found by A.A.N are first occurred when he was
curious about the strangers in his class. He was looking at the stranger
(researcher), raising and lowering his eyebrows, and lips widen upwards. This
facial expression means that he wanted to be acquainted with researcher.
Second occurred when he got praise from his teacher. He shows his pleasure
through the expression on his face; mouth widely opened and up, eyebrows
went up, brow slightly frowned, head went up, and eyes widened. This facial
expression means that he was feeling very happy. Third occurred when he was
scolded by his teacher. He shed his tears, widened his lips down, and went
eyes down. This facial expression means that he was feeling so sad. He did not
like being scolded and snapped at.
The eye contact that found by A.A.N are first happened when he started
the lesson. His eyes focused on the book on the table and looked at his
teacher. This eye contact means that he was in the good mood to learn. Second
happened while his eyes focused on the task he was working on and
occasionally his eyes often glanced at his teacher in order to make sure that he
could continue the task or not. This eye contact means that he wanted to make
sure what he was doing was correct. The body movement that found by A.A.N
are first occurred when he got tired of writing. He expressed it through his body
movement-his hand stopped writing and put the pencil on the table, his eyes
looked left and right, and his body leaned at the back of the chair. This body
movement means that he wanted to take a rest. Second happened when the
teacher was not paying attention. He put the lobe (hat) he used on his teacher's
head, then took it back and put it back on his head. This body movement means
that he wanted to play with his teacher.
The posture that found by A.A.N are first happened when he started the
lesson. He was sitting in an upright position looking at his teacher. This posture
means that he wanted to study or being in a good mood to study. Second
occurred when he started to feel bored. He expressed it by showing his posture
sitting with his head bent to the table and hands resting his chin on the table.
This posture means that he was feeling bored. The haptic that found by A.A.N
E-ISSN: 2621-0835
504
are first occurred when he saw a stranger (researcher). He was clapping his
hands while looking at the researcher. This haptic means that he wanted to
attract the researcher’s attention. Second happened when he was not feeling
good. He was biting his hands. This haptic means that he was angry.
5. Conclusion
Based on the analysis of the research about non-verbal communication
expressed by autistic children of SLB ABC Taman Pendidikan Islam, the
researcher concludes that:
Although autistic children cannot interact clearly through verbal
communication, they can express their desires through non verbal
communication related to kinesics. They can communicate well with their
teacher through facial expressions, eye contact, body movement, posture and
touch. The most dominant kinesics components that expressed by autistic
children are body movement and haptic.
The meaning of those kinesics components that expressed by each
autistic child has a differents meaning. This differences happened because of
the differences in age and different levels of autism. For example, In the part of
haptic, A.A.N made an applause when his teacher was talking with others. This
kinesics components means that he was looking for attention of his teacher.
While S.W also did an applause when he was able to answer the question that
asked by his teacher. This kinesics components means that he was feeling
happy.
Children with disabilities especially autistic children should not be
shunned or discriminated against because of their limitations. However, they
must be given more opportunities to communicate and interact even through
non-verbal communication. Hopefully this research can change people's views
about autistic children who are often seen as unable to do anything and
experience obstacles in communication. They can be more sensitive or even
more aware of the presence of those children, because basically all human
beings are created both normal humans and those who have limitations also
have the same rights.
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Alshurman, W., & Alsreaa, I. (2015). The Efficiency of Peer Teaching of Developing Non Verbal Communication to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Journal of Education and Practice, 6(29), 33-38.
Masculinity and femininity as display. Kinesics and Context: Essays on Body Motion
  • R L Birdwhistell
Birdwhistell, R. L. (1970). Masculinity and femininity as display. Kinesics and Context: Essays on Body Motion, 39-46.
Buku pintar memahami bahasa tubuh
  • J Borg
Borg, J. (2009). Buku pintar memahami bahasa tubuh. Terj. Abdul Hamid. Yogyakarta: THiNK.
Intelligence Reframed: The Theory in Practice
  • H Gardner
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence Reframed: The Theory in Practice. New York City, NY: Basic Books.
Understanding and Teaching Children with Autism
  • R Jordan
  • S Powell
Jordan, R., & Powell, S. (1995). Understanding and Teaching Children with Autism. Wiley.
First Steps in Intervention with your Child with Autism: Frameworks for Communication
  • W Prevezer
  • E Newson
  • P Christie
  • S Chandler
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Perilaku Komunikasi Nonverbal Anak Autis Dalam
  • R Rasyid
Rasyid, R. (2014). Perilaku Komunikasi Nonverbal Anak Autis Dalam Proses Belajar di Sekolah Luar Biasa (SLB) Pembina Tingkat Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan di Kota Makassar.