Social connections are directly linked with the health and wellbeing of a person but it is more helpful for an autistic patient’s mental health. Social isolation and avoiding people are the biggest concerns for autistic patients which negatively affects their health and quality of life. The research team from A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University has worked on improving interpersonal relations and its role in an autistic adult’s life.
Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is the first author of this study. She says that many patients are completely disconnected from the world which is why they deprive of many things such as emotional healing and support in adult transition. However, a reconnection to the community, and people can positively affect their adulthood transition and help them to lead a better life.
This study highlights the role of social networking and personal relations for resource building in autism affected adults. They studied 17 autistic adults from the ages 19 to 27 which was their transition period. The information was collected through an online survey that asked about the social connections, help, and support that they may or may not receive from these connections.
In addition to this, the research team also talked to the parents of these adults through another survey requiring information on which social connections they find most reliable to help their young ones during this transition period.
McGhee Hassrick says that these interpersonal relations are actually the resources through which an autistic adult can receive support and help to improve their adult coms. It includes mental health, freedom, life quality, and even employment chances.
There is little or almost no information on how the networking and social connections are linked with autism. Also, there is no study that investigates autistic people as well as their parents altogether to completely evaluate the role of social support.
This research opens a new way to try social healing as a tool to improve the transition period for autistic adults. The data obtained from these adults can reveal how effective social support can improve their life quality, mental health, and opportunities to lead a normal life like other people.
This study, however, has some limitations involved. First, it was only targeted towards the measurement of social networking and doesn’t exactly provide details on how this information can affect the expected outcomes. There are chances that this networking size may not be true or change with time. Yet this study is one of its kind which has evaluated the impact of social acceptance and support to improve autistic adults.
This information is valuable for the fact that it is the first-ever study on autistic patient’s mental health. It can help all these people to build the resources through which they can rely on to get the desired outcomes.
This study is all set to published as “Social Capital and Autism in Young Adulthood: Applying Social Network Methods to Measure the Social Capital of Autistic Young Adults,” in the journal Autism in Adulthood.