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HyperRESEARCH Sheds Light on How Autistics Establish and Maintain Friendships

In a paper submitted to the Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities journal, authors Leslie S. Daniel, PhD and Bonnie S. Billingsley, EdD utilized HyperRESEARCH for their study which, according to the authors, "is designed for qualitative data and analyzed through reading, labeling, developing themes, writing, and participant validation."

The paper entitled "What Boys With an Autism Spectrum Disorder Say About Establishing and Maintaining Friendship" appears in the Online First version of the Focus on Autism journal's website and can be accessed here. From the paper's abstract, the authors state "Seven boys, 10 to 14 years old, with autism spectrum disorders and good verbal communication, were interviewed to determine how they establish and maintain friendships. Parents and the boys' teachers were interviewed for supportive information. All of the boys had friends, and 6 described establishing friendships as the most difficult aspect. Reasons for difficulty in establishing friendships included the desire not to be the one who initiated contact, the intention to avoid violating the social hierarchy of the school, and concerns related to being exploited or being a nuisance. The 7th boy did not desire friendships beyond family friends. All participants described shared interests as critical to maintaining friendships. Four youth have maintained stable friendships across distances and transitions."

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