|Investigation of Behavioral Interventions for Social Skills to Promote Inclusion for Adults With ASD
|Sunday, May 28, 2017
|8:00 AM–8:50 AM
|Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4A/B
|Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
|Chair: Helena Lydon (National University of Ireland Galway)
|CE Instructor: Helena Lydon, Ph.D.
Social Skills deficits are evident in individual with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across their lifespan. The gap in these deficits often become more prominent as the individual gets older. This symposium will look at an investigation of behavioural interventions for pre- young adults and adults with ASD to enhance work place inclusion. The research will look at two single case research designs to teach conversation skills and an adapted version of the Adolescent Curriculum for Communication and Effective Social Skills (ACCESS; Walker et al., 1988). The results of both studies discuss the importance for social skills interventions amongst this population ad highlights the factors that can impact on teaching social skills necessary for inclusion, as well as a discussion of the contextual factors that support individuals with autism within the workplace.
|Instruction Level: Intermediate
Work-Related Social Communication Skills Training for Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-Occurring Intellectual Disabilities
|EDITH ADEL WALSH (National University of Ireland, Galway), Jennifer Holloway (National University of Ireland, Galway), Helena Lydon (National University of Ireland Galway)
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are faced with significant barriers relating to employment opportunities and workplace participation. The current study examined the effectiveness of an employment skills intervention utilizing technology to increase social communication skills necessary for workplace inclusion. The intervention comprised of an adaptation of the Adolescent Curriculum for Communication and Effective Social Skills (ACCESS; Walker et al., 1988) to include video modelling (VM). The study was delivered in a vocational training centre for adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. Participants attended two sessions per week across a period of 20 weeks. The study employed 8 single case multiple probe designs to target three broad curricular areas (i.e., peer-related social skills, adult-related social skills, and self-related social skills). Pre-test and post-test standardized assessments and additional direct behavioural measures were also taken. The outcomes of the study highlight the factors that can impact on teaching social skills necessary for inclusion, as well as a discussion of the contextual factors that support individuals with autism within the workplace.
Increasing Appropriate Conversation Skills Using a Behavioral Skills Training Package With Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
|HELENA LYDON (National University of Ireland Galway), Grace Ryan (National University of Ireland Galway), Jennifer Holloway (National University of Ireland, Galway), Shelley Alison Brady (University of Coleraine)
The current research evaluated the effectiveness of a behavioral skills training package used to increase appropriate conversation interactions for six adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Deficits in the area of social skills can become a significant feature for individuals with disabilities and in particular for those with ASD. A multiple probe design across participant dyads was employed to examine the effects of the intervention on conversation interactions. The behavioral skills training package was delivered in small group instruction and included; (i) instructions about having a conversation, (ii) modeling a conversation, (iii) practicing a conversation, and (iv) feedback on performance during each session. Engagement in appropriate conversation was measured according to a task analysis. Results indicated that the behavioral skills training package was effective for increasing appropriate conversation interactions for all six participants, and maintenance was evident four weeks post intervention. The findings are discussed in relation to the importance for social interactions and communication amongst this population.
|An Evaluation of the Model Me Kids® Curriculum for Teaching Social Skills to Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
|JENNIFER HOLLOWAY (National University of Ireland, Galway), Anna Mc Coy (National University of Ireland, Galway), Olive Healy (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
|Abstract: Behavioral interventions are widely used as a treatment for increasing social skills for successful everyday interactions and the development of meaningful friendships. The current study employed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the Model Me Kids® curriculum for increasing social skills in children and adolescents with a diagnosis of high functioning ASD. Model Me Kids® is a social skills curriculum that employs video modeling and role-play to teach behaviors imperative to social development. 32 children and adolescents aged 9-17 years were randomly assigned to an experimental (n=18) or a waitlist control group (n=14). Across 12 weeks and 18 sessions, participants in the experimental group received instruction on three modules from the Model Me Kids® curriculum. Results show that there was significant difference between the experimental and waitlist control groups on standardized measures of social skills following intervention. In addition to this, direct observational measures showed increases in performance for participants in the experimental group post-intervention. The findings of the current study indicate that supplemental behavioral procedures may be necessary to increase acquired social skills to levels of mastery.