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Does ‘mentoring’ offer effective support to autistic adults?: a mixed methods pilot study

Martin, Nicola, Milton, Damian, Dawkins, Gemma, Sims, Tara, Baron-Cohen, Simon, Mills, Richard (2017) Does ‘mentoring’ offer effective support to autistic adults?: a mixed methods pilot study. Advances in Autism, 3 (4). pp. 229-239. ISSN 2056-3868. (doi:10.1108/AIA-06-2017-0013) (KAR id:62624)


The Research Autism Cygnet Mentoring project was a two-year pilot study, completed in 2016, which aimed to develop, trial and evaluate a mentoring scheme designed with input from autistic people, their families and supporters. The mentoring scheme involved 12 matched pairs (mentor/mentee) meeting once per week for one hour, over a six month period. All mentors attended a training day, led by the principles of Personal Construct Theory (PCT) and an emancipatory research ethos. The project and training involved significant involvement of autistic people in both its design and delivery. Participants on the autism spectrum found their mentoring experience very helpful in enabling them to progress toward self-identified goals, and mentees felt empowered by the person-centred ethos and methods employed on the project. However, a number of aspects of the mentoring project have been identified for requiring further investigation, including: caution over offering mentoring without formal structures, boundary setting, supervision, flexibility, and the matching of mentees with mentors. The project has highlighted the potential benefits of time-limited goal-orientated mentoring and the negligible evidence base underpinning current mentoring practice with adults on the autism spectrum. In order for the project to realise its emancipatory aim, there is a need for a large-scale quantitative study and a health-economics analysis to provide the necessary evidence base for mentoring to be recommended as a cost-effective intervention with clear benefits for individual wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/AIA-06-2017-0013
Uncontrolled keywords: Mentoring, Autism, Emancipatory, Participatory, Wellbeing
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Organisations -1 not found.
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2017 22:20 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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