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Title: How do people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis coordinate with other people?
Author: Bartlett, Amy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 4410
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available