Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/79048
Title: Being in the presence of a person with an autism spectrum condition does not guarantee acceptance
Authors: Bonnici, Cynthia
Bartolo, Paul A.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders -- Malta
Social representations -- Malta
Perception
Issue Date: 2021-06
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Education
Citation: Bonnici, C., & Bartolo, P. A. (2021). Being in the presence of a person with an autism spectrum condition does not guarantee acceptance. Malta Review of Educational Research, 15(1), 1-22.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine Maltese young adults’ knowledge and perceptions of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). Social Representation Theory was utilized to inform the study on the possible ways participant’s perceptions were shaped. Particular focus was given to the way participants interpreted the behaviour, abilities and potential of people with ASC and whether the information acquired aided the acceptance of their peers with ASC. The study applied a qualitative approach: a sample of eight participants, aged between 18 and 24 years, responded to a semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis of data uncovered six main themes. These included three levels of respondents’ perceptions of ASC stemming from participants’ experience and knowledge of ASC, that were in turn associated with three levels of acceptance of people on the spectrum. The findings suggest that being in contact with persons on the autism spectrum does not necessarily translate into acceptance, highlighting the importance of providing peers and society with explanations of behavioural differences manifested by individuals with ASC in order to reduce uncertainty and facilitate inclusion.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/79048
Appears in Collections:MRER, Volume 15, Issue 1

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