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This article draws upon qualitative interviews in order to examine how UK based research psychologists understand public engagement activities and interactions with autistic advocates. Researchers describe public engagement as difficult and understand these difficulties as stemming from autistic impairments. In particular, it is reported that a heterogeneity of autism impairments means there is little agreement on the form research should take, while socio-communicative impairments make interactions difficult. Conversely, researchers describe autistic individuals as having the capacity to positively influence research. In this paper we discuss the nature of these claims and stress the need for autism-specific modes of engagement to be developed.
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- Autism Scientists’ Reflections on the Opportunities and Challenges of Public Engagement: A Qualitative Analysis
- Springer US