Relationship Difficulties Among People with an Autism Diagnosis and the Role of Vuxenhabiliteringen

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för socialt arbete och kriminologi

Author: Jessica Vannoorenberghe; [2021]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This qualitative study describes relationships problems highlighted by individuals with an autism diagnosis and professionals at Vuxenhabiliteringen (adult disability services). It also captures the individuals’ and professionals’ opinion of how to work with these particular problems. Nine people were interviewed for this study. The interviews were semi-structured and systems Theory in Social Work were used to understand the organisational tension between where support for relationship problems for people with an autism diagnosis should lie. An autism diagnosis is linked to problems in social-emotional reciprocity, for example difficulties to initiate or respond to social interactions, inflexible adherence to routines and difficulties with sensory input. Several themes emerged regarding relationship problems; structure and planning, communication, understanding, sex and intimacy and partners’ own difficulties. Professionals reported that a number of services are currently being offered, such as diagnose information, talking therapy, help with planning and structure, among others. Professionals expressed that including the partner more, working more jointly with other professionals and starting a relationship group to share experiences could improve services. The support that neurodiverse participants asked for were couple’s therapy, information and education about sex, relationships and men. Relationship support can be given by VUH through the services already offered and by expanding them further. More research is needed to understand relationship issues in relation to an autism diagnosis.  Keywords: Relationship, autism, neurodiversity, Vuxenhabiliteringen, health care, organisation, couple’s therapy, relationship difficulties Sökord: Relationer, autism, neurodiverse, Vuxenhabiliteringen, Hälso och sjukvård, organisation, parterapi, relationssvårigheter Author: Jessica Vannoorenberghe Word count: 16846            

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