How do people with an Autistic Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD) coordinate with other people?

Prof Doc Thesis

Bartlett, Amy 2010. How do people with an Autistic Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD) coordinate with other people? Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsBartlett, Amy
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This research aimed to explore the skills of those with and without a diagnosis
of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in social coordination. The basis for these
skills is considered to reside in social cognition, which is held to be either
'lacking' or 'different' for those with an ASD diagnosis. As such, few studies
have explored contextualised social knowledge in those with a diagnosis or
considered how this might be used in interaction.
To explore social knowledge and how it is used in social coordination, several
novel tasks were utilised. These tasks explored participant responses in
situations of: coordination with an unknown co-player; in competition with a
known co-player; in social situational coordination and when using moral
reasoning in judgements. Participants were also asked to reflect on their
experience in brief interviews.
No differences between the groups were found in the quantitative analysis,
suggesting comparable abilities in social coordination. The qualitative findings
revealed differences in the manner in which the groups approached and
managed the tasks. The control group approached tasks with confidence and a
belief in their belonging to a wider network of similar people. The ASD group
seemed to feel more uncertain about their sense of belonging and their abilities.
This research suggests that social knowledge drawn on in coordination
situations is similar for both groups; however, confidence in its use is not. It
appears that individuals with an ASD diagnosis may use different and more
expansive routes to achieve coordination. This is proposed to be driven by
differences in neural pathways and internalised clinical and social
understandings of being 'different'.
It is hoped that this research can begin to challenge assumptions about what
individuals with a diagnosis of ASD can do. Thus, widening the scope for
research and supporting individuals to have greater confidence in their abilities.

Publication dates
PrintMay 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jun 2014
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