Research at The University of Texas at Dallas is uncovering factors that contribute to better social outcomes for autistic adults.
Autism is a developmental disability defined by social difficulties and repetitive behaviors.
About 1-2% of the population is estimated to be on the autism spectrum. Autistic adults without intellectual disability express strong desires to form meaningful relationships, find fulfilling employment, and live independently.
Unfortunately, social isolation, under-employment, and poor quality of life remain far too common for this population.
UT Dallas researchers are demonstrating that social disability for autistic adults is not an individual trait but varies depending on aspects of the social environment.
Our work shows that impressions of autistic adults are more favorable among non-autistic people who have higher autism knowledge and experience, suggesting that acceptance and accommodation of autistic differences may improve their social outcomes.
UT Dallas research also shows that autistic adults often have better social experiences when interacting with other autistic adults compared to non-autistic adults.
Our work is making a difference by showing that social difficulties in autism can occur because of a mismatch in communication styles between autistic and non-autistic people that decreases with acceptance and inclusion.
For more information on this research, please contact Dr. Noah Sasson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information on endeavors in the Office of Research, please contact Dr. Alex Piquero (email@example.com), Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology and Director of Social Impact Research.