Perspectives of Adults With Autism on Social Communication Intervention

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© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2020. Social communication difficulties are part of the core difficulties experienced by individuals with autism. Speech-language pathologists provide intervention and supports for these difficulties. Little is known about the own experiences and views of adults with autism about these services. Using semi-structured ethnographic interviewing, perspectives of eight adults (six currently attending college) with autism on social communication intervention were investigated. Participants articulated strengths and weaknesses in social communication, offering frank views of interventions received. Five themes regarding social communication intervention emerged: belief that intervention was ineffective and unnecessary; preference for one-on-one intervention; need for more real-world practice; friend and peer challenges and successes; and desire for more neurotypical understanding. Participants additionally offered general views on social functioning as well as advice for communication partners and other people with autism. In designing interventions for social communication impairments, the experiences and beliefs of those receiving the interventions should be a central element.

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Communication Disorders Quarterly



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