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Supporting Newly Identified or Diagnosed Autistic Adults: An Initial Evaluation of an Autistic-Led Programme

Crane, L., Hearst, C., Ashworth, M. , Davies, J. & Hill, E. L. ORCID: 0000-0003-3130-1271 (2021). Supporting Newly Identified or Diagnosed Autistic Adults: An Initial Evaluation of an Autistic-Led Programme. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51(3), pp. 892-905. doi: 10.1007/s10803-020-04486-4


Sixteen adults (diagnosed or self-identified as autistic) participated in one of two iterations of a ten-week autistic-led programme, aimed at helping autistic adults learn more about autism within a peer group context. Motivations for taking part in the programme included a desire for: (1) exploration of autism; (2) empowerment; and (3) the development of practical strategies and coping mechanisms. Interviews were conducted upon completion of the programme and again 6 months later. Using thematic analysis, three themes were identified: (1) appreciation of the autistic-led nature of the programme; (2) unity in diversity; and (3) developing a positive, practical outlook on autism. These promising initial results highlight the value of autistic-led peer support for those recently diagnosed/identified as autistic.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: Autism, Adults, Diagnosis, Post-diagnostic support, Autistic-led, Peer support
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
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