Study Finds Understanding of Autism Can Boost Social Inclusion
A new study from researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas found that an increased understanding of autism can help improve social interactions amongst those on the spectrum.
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The findings, which were published in the journal Autism, found that the autism acceptance training group demonstrated greater understanding and acceptance of autism on the explicit measures, including expressing more social interest in adults on the spectrum. However, they still continued to associate autism with unpleasant personal attributes on an implicit level, which reflect more durable underlying beliefs that are more resistant to change.
Still, the researchers are optimistic about the results, adding that individuals with autism will play an important role in future studies and programs.
“Autistic people often feel that they simply aren’t listened to, that they are dismissed or not cared about,” Jones said. “A big part of being welcoming is simply acknowledging actual autistic people telling us what they like and what they want research to be. In our lab, we have several autistic master’s and undergraduate students who play a big role in our research, and they’ve taught me a lot.”