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Girls with autism: Do they fit in?

  • Author(s): Dean, Michelle Carol
  • Advisor(s): Kasari, Connie
  • et al.
Abstract

Children with ASD are reported to have fewer friends than their typically developing classmates (Chamberlain, Kasari, & Rotherman-Fuller, 2007). Since girls with ASD have been under represented in past research, less is known about their experiences. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of gender on the social experiences of girls and boys with ASD. A secondary analysis of peer nomination data (Cairns & Cairns, 1994) was used to examine social relationships (Kasari et al., 2010, Kasari et al., in preparation). The children with ASD were fully included in the general education setting. Same-gender classmates were randomly selected for the control group. Within and between-group differences were explored, controlling IQ, age, and city of residence. Gender was a salient organizer of social relationships in children with ASD. Between and within group differences suggest that girls and boys with ASD have unique social experiences.

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