Practicing social inclusion : Comfort Zone - a social support group for teenagers with high-functioning autism

Gill, Jessica, Liamputtong, Pranee and Hoban, Elizabeth 2014, Practicing social inclusion : Comfort Zone - a social support group for teenagers with high-functioning autism, in Practising social inclusion, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon, England, pp.182-190.

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Title Practicing social inclusion : Comfort Zone - a social support group for teenagers with high-functioning autism
Author(s) Gill, Jessica
Liamputtong, Pranee
Hoban, Elizabeth
Title of book Practising social inclusion
Editor(s) Taket, Ann
Crisp, Beth R
Graham, Melissa
Hanna, Lisa
Goldingay, Sophie
Wilson, Linda
Publication date 2014
Chapter number 14
Total chapters 20
Start page 182
End page 190
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication Abingdon, England
Keyword(s) social capital
adolescent
Summary Individuals with a disability are often excluded from society because of their differences either physically, mental or socially (Kitchin 1998). In order to tackle this issue of exclusion, social networks must be built wìth the aim of including these individuals into society. The notion of building social inclusion is described by Pierre Bourdieu (1977) as 'social capital' where resources are embedded within social structures and networks rather than in individuals. By encouraging social inclusion, individuals' quality of life is enhanced by allowing more access to support, resources and relationships.

Individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have deficits in their social and communication skills. These issues hinder their development of friendships and intimate relationships, which can lead to feelings of isolation (Freeman 2008). It has been recognised that the adolescent years are a particularly difficult period for the individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. (Kunz 2009)
This chapter focuses on a community-based social support programme for teenagers with high-functioning ÀSD, called Comfort Zone, which aimed to increase social support. The authors argue that the foundations and aims of the Comfort Zone group have allowed the group to promote social inclusion of individuals with high-functioning ASD into the community. Despite some limitations, this group can be used as a model for promoting social inclusion for other groups within the community.
ISBN 9780415531078
0415531071
Language eng
Field of Research 111703 Care for Disabled
Socio Economic Objective 920413 Social Structure and Health
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055458

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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