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Cell phone use by adolescents with Asperger syndrome

Durkin, Kevin and Whitehouse, Andrew J.O. and Jaquet, Emma and Ziatas, Kathy and Walker, A. (2010) Cell phone use by adolescents with Asperger syndrome. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4 (2). pp. 314-318. ISSN 1750-9467

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Abstract

While young people have generally been at the forefront of the adoption and use of new communications technologies, little is known of uses by exceptional youth. This study compares cell phone use by a group of adolescents with Asperger Syndrome (n = 35) with that by a group of adolescents with typical development (n = 35). People with Asperger Syndrome tend to have limited ability to take part in reciprocal communication and weaker social motivation. We predicted that this group would be less likely to have access to cell phones and, if they did have them, would be less likely to use them for talking to peers and more likely to use non-communicative features, such as games. These predictions received strong support. The findings have implications for theoretical accounts of new media use by the young, for our knowledge of the lives of individuals with AS, and for caregivers of children with exceptional conditions.