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What Happens When We Ask Autistic Persons What Is Wrong With Them?

Date:
October 7, 2008
Source:
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Summary:
To date, few studies have focused on the viewpoints of autistic persons themselves despite an increasing number of published autobiographies. The results of this study suggest that what has been selected as major signs by psychiatric nosography is regarded as manifestations induced by perceptive peculiarities and strong emotional reactions by the autistic persons who expressed themselves.

To date, few studies have focused on the viewpoints of autistic persons themselves despite an increasing number of published autobiographies. The aim of this study is to highlight their personal experiences, and to compare them to scientific and medical knowledge and representations.

Adopting an anthropological approach, the authors analyzed 16 autobiographical writings and 5 interviews with autistic persons.

The investigators systematically screened this material and explored the writers' sociodemographic characteristics, cognitive skills and interests with a focus on their sensory-perceptual experiences and their representations of autism. The authors' ages (22-67 years), their countries (n = 8) and backgrounds were varied, and most of them were high-functioning individuals with autism or Asperger syndrome.

The most striking observations were that all of them pointed out that unusual perceptions and information processing, as well as impairments in emotional regulation, were the core symptoms of autism, whereas the current classifications do not mention them.

The results of this study suggest that what has been selected as major signs by psychiatric nosography is regarded as manifestations induced by perceptive peculiarities and strong emotional reactions by the autistic persons who expressed themselves.

These considerations deserve to be taken into account by professionals to better understand the behavior and needs of autistic persons. The Authors propose to include this point in the reflection on the next psychiatric classifications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chamak et al. What Can We Learn about Autism from Autistic Persons? Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 2008; 77 (5): 271 DOI: 10.1159/000140086

Cite This Page:

Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. "What Happens When We Ask Autistic Persons What Is Wrong With Them?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081001093758.htm>.
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. (2008, October 7). What Happens When We Ask Autistic Persons What Is Wrong With Them?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081001093758.htm
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. "What Happens When We Ask Autistic Persons What Is Wrong With Them?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081001093758.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

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