Autism Acceptance & Mental Wellbeing

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Full paper:

Nothing about us without us
Who: Cage & colleagues
Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Published: 2017
Title: Experiences of Autism Acceptance and Mental Health in Autistic Adults

autism acceptance & mental health

This study wanted to see if autism acceptance had any influence on mental wellbeing for autistic people

Autism acceptance is when you feel accepted and appreciated as an autistic person, with autism seen as a positive aspect of your identity


Autistic people say that a lack of public understanding leads to feelings of social isolation and anxiety

Even people who work regularly with autistic children hold negative conceptions of autism

Personal acceptance of being autistic is protective against anxiety and depression


They surveyed 111 autistic adults.

7% felt autism was accepted by society in general.

They found these things:

1) depression was predicted by autism acceptance from external sources, including family, friends, and society in general, and also by personal autism acceptance
2) stress was predicted by external acceptance
3) anxiety was not related to autism acceptance


Also, the more accepting one is of their autistic identity, the less depression symptoms they had! This might be because it helps increase self-esteem

Autism acceptance by non-autistic people as well as by autistic people is really important for protecting autistic peoples mental wellbeing, especially with reference to depression

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