Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Paper Session #61
CE Offered: BACB
Supporting Autistic Individuals Into Adulthood
Saturday, May 25, 2024
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon F
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Adriano Barboza (Conduzir Behavioral Health Services)
CE Instructor: Megan Robinson Joy, Ph.D.
Job Supports for Autistic Individuals: Developing Self-Awareness Competencies to Improve Decision-Making Processes
Domain: Service Delivery
ADRIANO BARBOZA (Conduzir Behavioral Health Services), Arlene Kely Alves de Amorim (Grupo Conduzir), Josiane Mariano (Grupo Conduzir), Larissa Aguirre (Grupo Conduzir)
Abstract: Accessing appropriate services and resources for individuals on the autism spectrum can be challenging as they transition into adulthood, leading to limited integration into the job market. Research has consistently shown that employment rates among autistic adults are significantly lower compared to other adults with disabilities. To address this issue, our team developed a vocational support program based on the JobTIPS program. We used videoconferencing sessions to deliver vocational support to participants. The program's initial phase focused on determining career interests and consisted of eight sessions. We evaluated the program by identifying the individual's interests, career goals, strengths, and needs, which helped us identify potential matching and non-matching job opportunities. Additionally, we provided support with job search, attainment, and continuity based on the results of our program. We also discussed the necessary components for assessing interests, career goals, strengths, and needs in individuals on the autism spectrum. Furthermore, we outlined potential future studies that can be conducted to test the external validity of this program to ensure that individuals on the autism spectrum have choices, independence, and opportunities in the job marketplace.

The Development of a College Preparation Program for Autistic High Schoolers

Domain: Service Delivery
MEGAN ROBINSON JOY (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Kaitlin McCombs (Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center)

The transition to college can be uniquely difficult for autistic students. In addition to the academic demands of higher education, students are often living on their own for the first time. Autistic students may struggle with interpersonal demands, executive functioning, time management and other skills that independent living at college requires. In the current paper, we will present a description of a two-year college preparation program designed for autistic high school students. Through collaboration with an autistic consultant and current college students, best practices in transition planning were incorporated into a comprehensive curriculum designed to teach high schoolers critical skills to be successful in college. The curriculum arranges targeted skills into 6 pillars of success: self-advocacy, health, wellness and safety, interpersonal skills, community engagement, independent living, and executive functioning. Each pillar includes specific learning objectives and activities designed to enhance engagement and build sustainable skills. We will describe successes and challenges with developing lessons that are authentic, relevant, and evidence-based for autistic adolescents. Preliminary data has indicated that the program is effective and well-liked by both participants and their caregivers.




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