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      Noticing the unusual: a self-prompt strategy for adults with autism

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          – There is a substantial lack of research focusing on how to support the social understanding of high-functioning adults with autism (HFA). The perspectives of three adults with HFA were used to develop and implement self-prompt systems to increase knowledge and awareness of social situations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

          Design/methodology/approach

          – Semi-structured interviews and diaries were used to support individuals to reflect on video-based and real-life social situations, within a qualitative participatory case study design. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically.

          Findings

          – Participants developed and used a self-prompt system to support their social understanding in a range of situations. “Noticing the unusual” in social situations, consideration of the potential impact of others’ behavior on them personally, and guessing the intention of others were identified as useful strategies. Basing social judgments on the facial expressions of others was not useful.

          Research limitations/implications

          – This was a small-scale study with only three high-functioning participants and so the research needs to be extended to a wider group.

          Practical implications

          – There is considerable potential for this approach to be used with adults accessing support services because the strategies identified can be easily applied and personalized.

          Social implications

          – Independent, unplanned use of the self-prompt strategy enabled participants to reduce dependence on others in social situations through supporting their independent thinking and actions.

          Originality/value

          – This study moves away from a deficit-focussed model of intervention to one that seeks to uncover strengths in order to empower individuals to use their existing knowledge.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Visual Fixation Patterns During Viewing of Naturalistic Social Situations as Predictors of Social Competence in Individuals With Autism

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            Social skills development in children with autism spectrum disorders: a review of the intervention research.

            Social reciprocity deficits are a core feature of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This review summarizes the state of research in group-based social skills training programs for school-age children and adolescents with ASD. All published studies of group social skills interventions between 1985 and 2006 were reviewed, as well as dissertations examining group-based social skills intervention programs. To assess the state of the science, a template developed by an NIMH work group was applied to 14 identified studies. Based on this review, the empirical support for this approach is incomplete, but promising intervention strategies were identified. Recommendations for the design of future treatment trials to guide clinical practice are offered.
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              On the ontological status of autism: the ‘double empathy problem’

               Damian Milton (2012)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                AIA
                10.1108/AIA
                Advances in Autism
                Emerald Publishing
                2056-3868
                29 October 2015
                29 October 2015
                : 1
                : 2
                : 87-97
                Affiliations
                Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
                Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
                Article
                AIA-05-2015-0006.pdf
                10.1108/AIA-05-2015-0006
                © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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                Categories
                Articles
                Research paper
                Health & social care
                Learning & intellectual disabilities
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