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Not your (neuro)typical therapy session

Anti-stigma and peer-mediated interventions can benefit the neurotypical peers of autistic kids, but the research leaves much to be desired.

August 8, 2021

The double empathy problem is the idea that individuals with different neurotypes (like autistic and nonautistic people) can struggle to understand and interact with one another due to different communication styles and experiences in the world. Basically, it’s not just a “lack of social skills” on the part of the autistic person! You might be wondering—is there any research on teaching neurotypical peers about autistic communication styles? Birnschein et al. wrangled up the research on neurotypical peer training—what interventions exist, what the outcomes are, and where the research is lacking.

Only 14 studies from the past 20 years met the authors’ criteria, and some of them were pretty outdated in terms of their descriptions of autistic traits as deficits…

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