‘We’ve come a very, very, long way’ Overcoming stigma of autism: An interpretative phenomenological analysis within the UK Jewish community
Autistic people contend with high levels of stigma in many cultures worldwide. There is a scarcity of literature on stigma in relation to autism in faith communities and virtually no research focussing on this topic in Jewish communities. In this study, we aimed to explore experiences of stigma towards autism and sought views on what steps have and can be taken to reduce such stigma. Using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 participants within the UK Jewish community, in both mainstream and specialist autistic schools. Interviews were conducted over 2 months in 2020. During analysis, 5 superordinate (central) themes and 13 subordinate themes were abstracted. Superordinate themes included ‘Stigma not specific to the Jewish community’; ‘Considerable strides made’; ‘More a lack of knowledge or denial than stigma’; ‘Fear of stigma is a real concern but not widely prevalent’; and ‘Potent factors that reduce stigma in the Jewish community’. We recommend workshops for greater awareness and training for teachers and parents on autism and autistic children’s experiences. We also recommend the formation of specialist autism schools in other communities and promotion of positive narratives concerning autistic people, as this successfully reduced stigma within the Jewish community.
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Link to article, ‘We’ve come a very, very, long way’ Overcoming stigma of autism: An interpretative phenomenological analysis within the UK Jewish community
‘We’ve come a very, very, long way’ Overcoming stigma of autism: An interpretative phenomenological analysis within the UK Jewish community. 2022: https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1177%2F13623613221075099