This qualitative study explored supportive relationships from the perspective of 5 academically successful individuals with autism. To ensure that data were rich and based on personal experience, participants with autism identified between 2 and 4 people with whom they had a successful supportive relationship. The participants in this study identified and described properties within these relationships. Analysis of in-depth interviews and documents using the constant comparative method revealed 6 properties of the successful supportive relationships: trust, intimacy, the presumption of competence, understanding, shared vision of independence, and good communication. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
American Association on Mental Retardation