Islands of loneliness: Exploring social interaction through the autobiographies of individuals with autism

Julie Causton-Theoharis, Christine Ashby, Meghan Cosier

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Assumptions of difficulties with social interaction, or lack of interest in social interaction, are central to many definitions and conventional understandings of autism. However, many individuals with autism describe a strong craving social interaction. This article uses autobiographical accounts written by individuals who identified as autistic as a source of qualitative research data and specifically explores the ways these texts address issues of social relationships. Using narrative inquiry, the authors explored how individuals with autism described their own notions of and experiences with social interaction. This article discusses the broad themes of (a) the desire to have connections and (b) navigation through the world of people. Last, implications for the education of individuals with autism are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-96
Number of pages13
JournalIntellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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