A systematic review of the literature was conducted to investigate what is currently known about support for social participation for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A computerized database search followed by hand searching was conducted to locate empirical studies published after 1995 in peer-reviewed journals that described social participation or social support for adults with ASD. 14 studies were identified, evaluated for strength of evidence, and organized into topical themes. These studies focused on support for social participation from two perspectives: social functioning and quality of life (QoL). Supporting social functioning and social participation is important, as this is one route through which individuals with ASD may be able to form relationships and establish natural support networks, which can in turn contribute to QoL. In addition, working to improve social skills is of key importance as social functioning heavily impacts outcomes in a variety of areas. Social participation, social functioning, and QoL for adults with ASD appear to be facilitated through informal social support from social networks, participation in social skills groups, and membership in support groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health