The language of the group

Foulkes suggested that 'symptoms, in themselves autistic and unsuitable for sharing, exert, for this very reason, an increasing pressure upon the individual to express them'.(79) The group equips the person to transform the mute and inchoate language of symptoms into a socially understandable form of discourse. There is increasing interest in characterizing group phases in terms of the language that predominates, using theory from discourse analysis and the Foulksian concept of free-floating discussion.

It is possible to differentiate between three primary forms of speech that arise in the matrix of any group. At the most basic level, monologue—speaking alone (with or without an audience)—is a form of individual self-expression. At the next level, dialogue—a conversation between two people—is the form of communication that distinguishes a bipersonal exchange. And at the third level, discourse— the speech pattern of three or more people—allows the free interaction of all its participants in a flexible and complex exchange that distinguishes the communication of a group. These patterns of speech are universal cultural forms arising in all communication and are present in the life of every group, although in no set order. Monologue can be understood as a soliloquy, dialogue as the resolution of opposites or the search for intimacy, and discourse as the work of a chorus. The use of free-floating discussion allows a pattern of exchange to move freely between these different speech forms, each of which constitutes a distinctive type of communication. It is through this movement—from monologue through dialogue to discourse and back again—that the group-analytic method comes into its own, creating an arena in which the dialectic between the psyche and the social world helps to refashion both.(l3)

Funny Wiring Autism

Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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