Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Burke, R. V., Andersen, M. N., Bowen, S. L., Howard, M. R. & Allen, K. D. (2010). Evaluation of two instruction methods to increase employment options for young adults with autism spectrum disorders.. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31 1223-1233.
Title:  Evaluation of two instruction methods to increase employment options for young adults with autism spectrum disorders.
Authors:  Burke, R. V., Andersen, M. N., Bowen, S. L., Howard, M. R. & Allen, K. D.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Research in Developmental Disabilities
Publisher:  Elsevier Ltd.
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2010.07.023
Full text:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891422210001794    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Research evaluating the effect of a vocational training program including behavioral skills training and a "performance cue system" to teach targeted social-vocational skills to six young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Purpose:  This study used comparison of multiple baseline design to evaluate efficacy of each intervention to determine whether subjects mastered vocational-behavior skills. Two studies were conducted, one with performance cue system along and a second with performance cue system and behavioral skills training if needed.
Setting:  Both study training sessions were conducted in a large, open area of 20,000 square foot building where WalkAround Mascots (c) are produced.
Study sample:  Study 1 sample were 3 young adults diagnosed with ASD, ages 20, 20 and 27 respectively and racial identification Asian, European American and European American respectively. Study 2 sample were 3 young adults diagnosed with ASD, ages 20, 20 and 18 respectively and racial identification of all three European American.
Intervention:  Study 1 intervention was a Performance Cue System (PCS). While subjects wore an inflatable firefighter WalkAround mascot costume, performing 63 scripted behaviors in coordination with a fire prevention specialist, they were exposed to a PCS. Study 2 intervention: PCS and behavioral skills training when needed. While subjects wore an inflatable firefighter WalkAround mascot costume, performing 63 scripted behaviors in coordination with a fire prevention specialist, they were exposed to a PCS and behavior skills training if required.
Control or comparison condition:  Both study subjects and their caregivers were invited to the company factory where they were introduced to the WalkAround costume. Participants and their families consented and then became familiar with the costume. Wearing the WalkAround costume, participants became acclimated to wearing and moving around in it and baseline data was gathered in a mock assembly.
Data collection and analysis:  Target behaviors consisted of the 63 scripted responses the mascot costume wearer was to perform in a specific sequence. During each trial an observer scored each scripted response as occurring or not occurring. A response was scored as occurring if the participant executed the correct movement within five seconds of the corresponding scripted prompt. A multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the efficacy of behavioral skill training and the performance cue system.
Findings:  Results showed that during baseline none of the participants were able to perform the scripted skills without some type of focused training. Will the introduction of behavioral skills training, all subjects showed only small improvements. With PCS (Performance Cue System) all three subjects showed dramatic improvement. Results were similar in both studies.
Conclusions:  As employment is a key part if identity including for individuals with ASD, it is important that these individuals receive support to be employed, thus receiving the social, emotional and mental health benefits. The combined effect of Behavioral Skills Training and Performance Cue Systems or even Performance Cue Systems alone can provide hope for increasing job opportunities for individuals with ASD.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Interventions:  Other
Outcomes:  Other