Traditional and supported employment present diverse challenges to adults with autism

A new study finds that adults with autism in supported employment report fewer communication problems, use more active coping strategies, and have higher “self-efficacy”—their personal judgment of their own capabilities—compared to those in unsupported employment. The new research, from the Freie Universität Berlin, surveyed 66 German, employed adults on the autism spectrum ages 22 to…

Child with autism learns new social skills via parent-mediated self-management training

A 9-year-old girl and her parents implemented self-management training so she (“Abby”) could learn to greet unfamiliar adults, not interrupt, and ask questions during conversation. One month after her parents faded out the self-management program, Abby maintained her new behaviors and generalized them to new settings. This style of intervention empowers families to improve their…

Research says video modeling works—Here’s how to implement it.

Ample research has found that video modeling is an effective way to teach students—especially those with autism—new skills. As noted in the Hussman Institute for Autism’s guide to supporting individuals with autism, “In skills training for children with developmental delays, the passive observation of a model demonstrating the target skill is often more effective than…

Social interaction is a two-way street: How well do neurotypicals interpret behavior of individuals with autism?

Instead of investigating the ability of individuals on the autism spectrum to identify emotions, a new study takes a different approach: how well can neurotypical adults interpret the behavior of adults with autism? Can neurotypicals determine what type of situation people are experiencing based on their reactions alone? A Dr. Elizabeth Sheppard and colleagues from…

Inclusion critical to life satisfaction for adults on the autism spectrum

The only significant predictor of self-reported life satisfaction in adults with autism spectrum condition (ASC) is whether or not they participate in society, a new study reports, indicating that more resources should be directed toward increasing community engagement for individuals with ASC. Researchers surveyed 43 adults with autism and 44 without about how much difficulty…

“Just give him the marker!”: Giving choices to children with autism improves academic performance

A 2010 study by Dr. Lynn Koegel and colleagues provided evidence that giving children choices related to their academic tasks improved several aspects of their performance. When given choices, the children initiated writing and math tasks more quickly, completed the tasks faster, decreased their disruptive behaviors, and demonstrated greater interest in the tasks. At the…

Studies suggest peer support helps children with autism engage in class

By Sarah Hansen A 2014 study found that peer support for three boys with autism significantly reduced their off-task behaviors in inclusive elementary school classrooms. After training one-to-one peer supporters, the low-cost peer support protocol places minimal demands on teachers and improves the classroom environment for all learners. The study also found that all children…