Essay about Analysis of Dibs in Search of Self

716 Words Mar 26th, 2016 3 Pages
The book Dibs in Search of Self is a story of a smart yet very unsocial and withdrawn little boy named Dibs. The story, written from Dr. Axline’s point of view, shows how Dibs goes from being completely unable to function in a normal classroom setting with other children to discovering himself through play therapy. Nowhere is the book is Dibs specifically diagnosed or even characterized as being autistic. This is not surprising as autism was not really widely understood or diagnosed until the 1960’s; this book was written in 1964. There are many correlations between this book and some of the theories and topics discussed in Berger’s text. I would like to address some of these correlations now.
Berger says, “Children who developed
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At one point his teacher asked if he wanted to go out and play and he responded, “No go out”, in a flat, heavy tone. Once he did decide to go outside he said “Dibs go out” (Axline, p. 25). He did, however, begin to talk more, especially while with Dr. Axline. When he did begin talking with Dr. Axline it seemed that his level of language skill improved, drastically. He began speaking in full, logical sentences.
Dibs’ also has impaired social responses. In Dr. Axline’s book she describes that when she first met him he stayed to himself and did not join in activities with the other children (p. 23).
Dibs exhibits unusual play as well. “Dibs moved to the wall, near a small table on which were some stones, shells, pieces of coal, and other minerals. Dibs stood beside the table. Slowly, he picked up first one object and then another. He ran his fingers around them, touched his cheek with them, smelled them, tasted them” (Axline, p. 24). This is not typical for a non-autistic child; Dibs however is not a “typical” young boy. During another situation all of Dibs classmates went out to play. They played in the sandbox, on jungle gyms, rode bicycles, played ball and catch. Dibs on the other hand, “walked off to a remote corner, picked up a little stick, squatted down and scratched it back and forth in the dirt. Making little grooves in the dirt. Not looking at anyone. Hunched over this lonely…

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