Abstract: Autism has typically been seen from a deficit perspective, describing things that autistic people are seemingly unable to do when compared to neurotypical people. As such, much of the support for autism is based on training programmes designed to eliminate undesirable (autistic) behaviour without an understanding of its function or purpose, and without considering that autism might in fact be a different way of “being” in the world, rather than a deficit. Recently, autistic adults and autistic scholars have been speaking out against such approaches. In this paper, I describe a proposed new approach to the development of social skills which is person-centred and strength-based. Rather than seeing autistic people as lacking in social skills, and needing to be “trained”, this paper describes an approach which builds on the skills and desires of autistic individuals, helping them to determine their own social goals, and explore the skills they would like to acquire in a self-directed manner, and within a context which interests them.
PPIG 2021 - 32nd Annual Workshop
Visualising Interaction: Supporting Autistic Teens in Self-Directed Explorations of Social Interaction