Brief Report: Learning About Autism: Is the Source of Autism Knowledge Associated with Differences in Autism Knowledge, Autism Identity, and Experiences of Stigma

Simon M. Bury, Alex Haschek, Michael Wenzel, Jennifer R. Spoor, Darren Hedley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People on the autism spectrum can learn about autism from various sources, likely differing in the information, portrayal, and discussion they offer. The present study investigates where autistic people learn about autism, and whether their information source is associated with their level of autism knowledge, perceptions of stigma, and development and expression of an autism identity. A survey of 198 Australian adults with an autism diagnosis showed that learning about autism from conventional sources (e.g., professionals, parents) was associated with more internalised stigma, lower endorsement of special abilities and autism identity, whereas online blogs and social media showed the opposite pattern as well as more accurate knowledge of autism. The findings raise questions about how authoritative sources of information discuss autism.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date28 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autism identity
  • Autism knowledge
  • Stigma

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