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Ninth Passwerk Award for Hadewych Weyns and Robbe Decloedt

The ninth Passwerk Award was recently awarded to Hadewych Weyns and Robbe Decloedt (KU Leuven) for their master thesis titled 'Perception of a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adolescents with Below Average Intellectual Abilities: a Qualitative Interview Study'.

The interview study shows that adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder and below-average intelligence have a rather ambivalent view of their diagnosis. Listening and responding to their specific ideas about and experience of the diagnosis, rather than relying on the social interpretation of an 'autism label', is very important. Hadewych and Robbe say: "These young people know what 'their' autism means to them. As family, teacher, caregiver or prospective employer, we need to support them in finding and maintaining control over how they use the diagnosis in their lives. We believe that in this way we can prevent feelings of inferiority and stigmatisation, and instead make the most of their personal strengths and talents."

The jury this year consisted of Professors Dieter Baeyens and Jan Cools and our colleagues Yolande Pacco and Nico De Cleen. The jury thought it was a very relevant master thesis, the results of which can be applied in practice, original and of scientifically high quality.

In addition to eternal honour and glory, the winners will receive a cash prize of 1500 euros.

Congratulations Hadewych and Robbe!

Hadewych Weyns, Nico De Cleen (Passwerk/TRplus) and Robbe Decloedt


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