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Sutherland_H - Autistic social communication and interaction 3.pptx (1.96 MB)

Social communication and interaction: what autistic people want you to know

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posted on 2024-06-10, 10:35 authored by Holly E. A. SutherlandHolly E. A. Sutherland

“Persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction” is a key part of the diagnostic criteria for autism. However, recent research findings and accounts by autistic self-advocates are challenging this framing. These findings and accounts suggest that difficulties are not due to a deficit on the part of the autistic person, but due to mutual misunderstanding between autistic and non-autistic people (the “double empathy problem”). If we want to understand why these misunderstandings occur, we have to first understand how autistic people experience social communication and interaction – what their expectations are, what they find difficult, and their perspectives on non-autistic social communication and interaction. This talk will cover key findings on this topic from two focus groups with autistic adults, and will illustrate how this can be used to improve communication and interactions between autistic and non-autistic people.

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