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The Lived Experience of a Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome in adulthood

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posted on 21.06.2018, 10:14 by Joanna Beckett
Literature Review: Psychiatric comorbidities are not uncommon in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The current literature review addresses the prevalence of Anxiety Disorders (AD) in Autism Spectrum Disorder without Learning Disability. The findings from the examination of fifteen papers were unequivocal. The risk of AD in the ASD population is elevated and at levels similar to those of clinically anxious individuals. Service Evaluation: The service evaluation followed two sets of enquiries about the referral patterns and referrals processes in the Learning Disability Service. Data was collated from the electronic data system and focus groups. Following the evaluation, a new referral form was designed and implemented across the *** Service. Research Report: Despite the advancements in early detection of ASD, the number of adults seeking this diagnosis remains relatively high. These individuals’ presentation often fits with the behavioural phenotype of Asperger Syndrome (AS). This research sought to provide a better understanding of the experience of a late diagnosis of AS. Seven adults with AS were interviewed. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was employed to analyse data. Subsequently, four super-ordinate themes were generated: the struggles of being a misfit, revelation, realisation: making meaning of the self and AS and the value and importance of support. The research findings showed that AS diagnosis served as an explanation of a long lasting difficulties and a catalyst for change. The experience of receiving the AS diagnosis was not limited to a single event; it appeared to be a complex process characterised by different emotional and cognitive shifts. Critical Appraisal: The Critical Appraisal focuses on the research process from the perspective of the researcher. It illustrates the challenges entrenched in the duality of roles of a clinician and a researcher, methodological limitations of the study as well as recommendations for future research.



Robertson, Noelle

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School of Psychology

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University of Leicester

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