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School experiences, Autism Spectrum Disorder characteristics, and mental health in females with Asperger syndrome


Jarman, B and Ollington, N and Rayner, CS and Beswick, K, School experiences, Autism Spectrum Disorder characteristics, and mental health in females with Asperger syndrome, ASID, 11-13 November, Crown Promenade Conference Centre, Southbank Vic, pp. 66. (2015) [Conference Edited]

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Aim There is evidence to suggest characteristic gender differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Attwood, 2006). Mental health issues, such as anxiety (Sukhodolsky et al., 2008), depression (Portway & Johnson, 2005), disordered eating (Kalyva, 2009), and OCD traits (Ruta, Mungo, D'Arrigo, Vitiello, & Mazzone, 2010) are common in ASD, however little is known about these conditions in relation to the school experiences of females with Asperger syndrome (AS), and how these experiences, and ASD characteristics impact on these issues. The current study aimed to explore how the social and emotional aspects of the school experience impacted females with AS. Method Thirty adult participants and 15 parents of females with AS attending school responded online to open-ended questions about school experiences. Questions were analysed using an inductive reasoning approach adapted from Scuitto et al. (2012). Findings Mental health issues were experienced by 78% of participants; anxiety (67%), depression (42%), and eating disorders (11.1%). Among other daily school struggles, these issues were attributed to routine changes (e.g. transition between activities), uncertainty, and sensory sensitivities (e.g. noise, fluorescent lighting, and discomfort with clothing). Conclusions Inflexible adherence to routines, rigid thinking patterns and reactivity to sensory input in ASD (American Psychological Association, 2013) that influence the experiences of females with AS at school may have a flow on effect to the mental health of females with AS. Awareness of the characteristic features of ASD

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Edited
Keywords:Asperger syndrome, Socialisation, School, Anxiety, Mental health
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Special education and disability
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Inclusive education
UTAS Author:Jarman, B (Ms Belinda Jarman)
UTAS Author:Ollington, N (Dr Nadia Ollington)
UTAS Author:Rayner, CS (Dr Christopher Rayner)
UTAS Author:Beswick, K (Professor Kim Beswick)
ID Code:106480
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Faculty of Education
Deposited On:2016-02-11
Last Modified:2016-03-04
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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