It’s been a while – again! Where does the time go? As half term has just
arrived, I ‘ve grabbed a few moments to fill you in on what I’ve been up to.

The ethics proposal has been wrangled, much like herding cats. It is submitted and now it’s the waiting game. I have been warned that many get pinged back, so am remaining realistic. My research in schools isn’t scheduled until January, which means that time is on my side. For now.

In the meantime, I have been focusing on the Literature Review. The research continues to be fascinating, with many perilous rabbit holes (see previous post) to avoid. I have been reading widely, pulling on the multiple threads of my thesis: autism, education, and the use of picturebooks to build empathy and understanding. There are so many voices to navigate within the broad topic of autism. I have taken my supervisor’s advice to split the focus of ‘own voice’ into a sub-section of its own. This has helped gain clarity.

The notion of own voice and agency will impact the choices I make when it comes to the picturebooks I plan to share with the children involved in the research. In between the lit review work, I have been taking a deep dive into the picturebook selection, addressing key questions linked to agency, own voice and realistic representation. This is proving to be an invaluable process, as it’s pushing me to think very carefully about the choices I will make.

It will be interesting to see which books make the cut…

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