What do new findings about social interaction in autistic adults mean for neurodevelopmental research?
Crompton, Catherine J.
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Davis, R. and Crompton, C.J. (2021) 'What do new findings about social interaction in autistic adults mean for neurodevelopmental research?', Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16(3), pp. 649-653.
Deficit-based accounts of social and communication abilities continue to dominate autism research. However, emerging findings suggest that this view may be overly simplistic and discount the two-way nature of interaction. Here we discuss the reconceptualization of social cognition to consider such difficulties as examples of bidirectional, multifaceted misattunement between autistic and nonautistic individuals. Aligned with progressive theoretical frameworks, emerging empirical research indicates that mismatches in communication styles can contribute to autistic social difficulties and the important role that nonautistic difficulties play. We highlight two areas of future research with the aim of providing empirical support for the views that the autistic community has proposed over the past 2 decades. We discuss the impact of such a paradigm shift on a number of levels, including how bridging the gap between different interaction styles can reduce stigma and increase understanding. Adopting such a framework will provide radical opportunities for transformative societal changes and education around inclusion.