In lieu of an abstract, here are the article's first two paragraphs:
When Susan arrived at the 10-year high school reunion of her son Jacob, he was sitting with a group of people he had been in contact with through Facebook. On their way home Jacob told his mother that he had a good time. A few months later Jacob attended a baseball game with his mother where he was approached by a former coworker he was friends with on Facebook. His coworker sat next to Jacob, and the two of them chatted throughout the game.
For most people these two events would have been unremarkable, but Jacob is a young adult with high-functioning autism (HFA) and casual social interaction has long been a struggle. The fact that Jacob attended his high school reunion and comfortably interacted with a group of people was a huge milestone. That he was able to carry on a casual conversation was also a tremendous step forward. As a 28-year-old, Jacob's network of friends, online and face-to-face, is now more extensive, and his interactions are more comfortable. Although some of these changes may be due to Jacob and his friends becoming more mature, Susan attributes much of them to Facebook.
Schultz, Susan M. and Jacobs, Gloria E. (2012). "The Social Magic of Facebook for Adults on the Spectrum." Autism Asperger's Digest September/October, 22-23.
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