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Keywords:

  • Autism;
  • consent;
  • ethics;
  • research

Accessible summary

  • Young people with autism should be involved in research about them.
  • Sometimes it can be difficult to understand what it means to be involved in research.
  • Approaches can be devised to help young people with autism say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to research and understand their involvement.

Summary

Young people with autism were involved in a study examining the participation of young people with autism in drama education. This study considers the approaches devised to obtain consent from ten young people with autism who communicated in different ways. The process of obtaining consent and monitoring assent is outlined and evaluated. The research illustrates that young people with autism who communicate in different ways can give their consent and be helped to understand what it means to be involved in research. Challenges specific to researching a group of young people with autism are considered and implications for future research presented.