Perceived Autonomy Support in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder | Abstract
Autism-Open Access

Autism-Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7890


Perceived Autonomy Support in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Nicole M. Shea, Margaret A. Millea and Joshua John Diehl

Autonomy support has been found to be critical for typically developing children, but not as much is known about its importance for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The current study examined the relationship between autonomy support, self-determination, scholastic competence and social acceptance in ASD. Twenty-six participants with high-functioning ASD completed self-report measures related to autonomy support, friendship, and academics. We found that greater teacher autonomy support was related to higher self-determination in school, and in turn, higher scholastic competence. Self-determination in friendship did not function as a mediator between mother/father autonomy support and social acceptance, but self-determination in friendship was significantly related to social acceptance. This study highlights the importance of fostering self-determination in both the academic and social lives of individuals with ASD. Future studies should examine best practices for incorporating autonomy support into existing scholastic settings and interventions.