Holding on to Planet from Shelter @ Open Spaces-Close Encounters

What happens if there is a crisis like a pandemic where nearly all individuals and institutions are not ready or equipped to respond?

CASCA 2022 was held on May 11-15 at the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan campus with in-person and online participation. The conference theme “Open Spaces-Close Encounters” invited us to reflect on new restorative and collaborative work possibilities in the anthropology discipline. We, as Sibel Aksu Gungor and Seyhan Kayhan Kilic shared insights from the paper entitled “Holding on to Planet from Shelter: The Effects of Covid-19 on Children with Autism,” on May 13, 2022, at the CASCA 2022 Conference.

We have sought to answer what happens if there is a crisis like a pandemic where nearly all individuals and institutions are not ready or equipped to respond?

In general, our paper explores how the outbreak of Covid-19 affected the lives of children with ASD and their families. The research acknowledges that the routines and a stable environment are the sources of “progress” for children with ASD. Individual crises like migration and loss of loved ones or minor changes like school, caregiver, and therapist are among the factors that affect the routines and the stability and consistency. In these types of crises and transitions, caregivers, professionals, or institutions are equipped with the procedures to apply and new routines to encourage. It is highlighted that the experience of #lockdown provided a chance to disentangle the intertwined pieces and to determine the tuneless parts of the constructed routines both on individual and institutional bases.

We have provided our perspective on the methodology used when researching different-abled people. We have advocated that netnography is an interpretive research methodology that adapts traditional ethnographic techniques to social media study. The essential advantages of nethnography are that the tool is limitless and has multiple and accurate ways of uncovering the data researchers seek. Netnography is also a useful method when researchers cannot use techniques such as “live among” and observe, as in ethnography during the lockdown due to a pandemic. Besides, netnography is a method that proposes a solution for understanding the experiences of different-abled people and their closer circle since the presence of an ethnographer as a stranger can (and did) make it harder for the caregiver to give a convenient account.

We hope to proceed with what we have learned.

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