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Table 9 Themes identified from adults’ with autism responses to the following open question: What changes, due to the effects of the COVID-19 regulations on your everyday life, have made life more pleasant for you (if any)?

From: The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with autism: a survey study across three countries



Example quote

Autism friendly world

Social cohesion/ solidarity

“As the entire nation is on lockdown, and everyone is self-isolating, I feel like I am finally at one with society. My way of living life is the norm. I no longer have to feel alone. I have a sense of belonging that everyone is in the same situation and we're all in this together” p. 629

“I notice that I find the contact with friends and my parents more pleasant now: I feel like my own and their daily worlds have more of a common denominator now. There’s a difficult situation now, that others also intuitively experience as being difficult. (…) Furthermore, interactions are more frequent but shorter, maybe that’s why I feel less like I have to dig into my reserves in order to lead the social life that I want.” [Translated] p. 668


Reduced sensory and social overload

“These times are in many respects more autism-friendly. There’s less car traffic and noise in my neighbourhood. There’s less traffic jam frustration and fewer exhaust gases. Working from home is a nice experiment that the crisis made possible. It is less stressful, because I am not disturbed and distracted by colleagues. And because I can take breaks whenever I need it, without worrying about social control. And the stress from socially obligated small talk is no longer there.” [Translated] p. 505


“No more handshaking, no more people getting way too close and not feeling weird for staying at home all the time” p. 233