This study builds on previous survey research by the investigators (Benford, 2008), as well as anecdotal reports, which imply that, despite having social interaction and communication difficulties, internet communication (via email, chat rooms, newsgroups and bulletin boards) is welcomed by some people with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger syndrome (AS). Qualitative data about individual experiences, perceptions, and motivations regarding internet‐based communication was obtained from 23 adults with HFA or AS, mainly via email interviewing, but also by conventional mail. Analysis based on grounded theory revealed how the sample were able to use the internet to lessen the emotional, social and time pressures experienced in offline situations. Aspects that contributed to the perception of the internet as a potentially more comfortable communication medium included visual anonymity, a different and more flexible pace of communication, and the permanence of text. Overall, the complexity of communication was lessened, and a greater sense of control could be achieved.
Benford, P. and Standen, P. (2009), "The internet: a comfortable communication medium for people with Asperger syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism (HFA)?", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 44-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/17549450200900015Download as .RIS
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