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The `not guilty verdict': Psychological reactions to a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in adulthood
Article from Bulletin/Magazine - ilmiah internasional
Autism vol. 13 no. 03 (May 2009)
Asperger syndrome is a relatively new diagnostic classification. A number of factors make receiving a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in adulthood a unique experience. This study used a phenomenological approach to examine the experiences of 10 adults receiving such a diagnosis. Results suggested that six major themes were associated with receiving a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. Individuals discussed their negative life experiences and their experience of services prior to diagnosis, which led to individuals holding certain beliefs about the symptoms of Asperger syndrome. These beliefs had an effect on the formation of each individual’s perceived self-identity. Participants made links between how they felt when they received the diagnosis and their current beliefs about both their ‘symptoms’ and themselves. Finally, participants highlighted the importance of the societal view of Asperger syndrome. The implications of these findings are reappraised in the context of previous research and the wider literature on identity formation.
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