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07-04-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2021 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 3/2021

Supporting Newly Identified or Diagnosed Autistic Adults: An Initial Evaluation of an Autistic-Led Programme

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 3/2021
Laura Crane, Caroline Hearst, Maria Ashworth, Jade Davies, Elisabeth L. Hill
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Sixteen adults (diagnosed or self-identified as autistic) participated in one of two iterations of a ten-week autistic-led programme, aimed at helping autistic adults learn more about autism within a peer group context. Motivations for taking part in the programme included a desire for: (1) exploration of autism; (2) empowerment; and (3) the development of practical strategies and coping mechanisms. Interviews were conducted upon completion of the programme and again 6 months later. Using thematic analysis, three themes were identified: (1) appreciation of the autistic-led nature of the programme; (2) unity in diversity; and (3) developing a positive, practical outlook on autism. These promising initial results highlight the value of autistic-led peer support for those recently diagnosed/identified as autistic.

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