Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 86–95 | Cite as

Coping Strategies of Adults with High-Functioning Autism: A Qualitative Analysis

  • Julie DachezEmail author
  • André Ndobo
Original Paper


The objective of this research is to study, via a qualitative and exploratory approach, the coping strategies used by adults with autism and with no intellectual impairment. Semi-directive interviews were carried out with 31 adults diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning autism (HFA). The data were analysed using an open coding system. Eight coping strategies were identified: special interests, militancy, diagnosis, seeking support from atypical friends, seeking support from animals, normalisation, intellectualisation, and humour. The practical and theoretical implications of the results are discussed in relation to the existing literature on this subject. A new approach is proposed in which special interests are seen as a resource and not as a symptom.


Autism spectrum disorders Coping Special interests 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory LPPL (EA 4638), Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of NantesNantes Cedex 3France

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