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Autistic women’s experience of intimate relationships: the impact of an adult diagnosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elizabeth Kock, Andre Strydom, Deirdre O’brady, Digby Tantam

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Autism
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2019

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Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to explore the experience of intimate relationships of women who have been diagnosed with Autism in adulthood.

Design/methodology/approach
Semi-structured interviews were used to interview eight participants. The data were transcribed and analysed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis method.

Findings
Four overall themes were identified. These included “Response to the diagnosis and receiving more information about Autism”, “Factors influencing dating behaviour”, “Sex and sexual experiences” and “Experience of intimate relationships as a person with Autism”.

Research limitations/implications
The results of this study have implications for both research and clinical practice as it highlights the areas in which women newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) could benefit from support.

Practical implications
The study hopes to add to the limited existing research on adult women with ASD.

Originality/value
To date no similar research has investigated the same phenomenon through a similar method.

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