Cultural basis of social ‘deficits’ in autism spectrum disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is very little research that specifically looks at how autism spectrum disorders are perceived in various communities. This qualitative research was conducted with parents who had children on the autistic spectrum belonging to four different ethnic communities (White British, Somali, West African and South
Asian – 63 in total) and living in the UK. The study found that the importance
that the parents give to various social skills varied on the basis of their cultural
background and the gender of the parent. This is an important aspect to consider while providing support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members if the services have to be appropriate for their needs. This consideration would also enable the individuals on the autism spectrum to develop appropriate social skills required within their cultural groups. This is a preliminary study and further research on the topic is required.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-326
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2014


  • autism, Social skills, Parental perceptions, culture, ethnicity