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A Qualitative Study of Adults’ and Support Persons’ Experiences of Support After Autism Diagnosis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-27, 04:54 authored by Y Huang, SRC Arnold, KR Foley, JN Trollor
Adulthood autism diagnosis has become increasingly common, but little is known about post-diagnosis support experiences and needs. We interviewed 19 autistic adults and 4 support persons on experiences of formal and informal post-diagnosis support. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to identify themes. Participants reported difficulties accessing suitable formal support, especially regarding education and employment. Informal support was helpful but created challenges in the relationships between autistic adults and support persons. For autistic adults, support from autistic peers fostered belonging and self-acceptance. We also identified complex interactions between adults’ post-diagnosis identity development and support experiences as they resolved the dilemma between self-acceptance and a desire to change. Findings have important implications for services working with autistic adults and their families.

History

Journal

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Location

United States

ISSN

0162-3257

eISSN

1573-3432

Language

English

Publisher

SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS