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Archived News: In Research and Intervention
January 2014

Research Indicates Vocational Activities Promote Improvement in Quality of Life for Adults with ASD!

A recent 5 1/2 year long longitudinal study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders indicated that adults within a vocational placement, which promotes independence of the individual, tend to have a reduction in autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors. Autism symptoms considered in the study included: repetitive behaviors, communication and social impairments, and restricted interests. In this sample of 153 adults with ASD, participants averaged 30 years of age and 69% were identified as having a comorbid intellectual disability. Parents of participants completed the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised (SIB-R) to score maladaptive behaviors, Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R) to identify present autism symptoms, Vocational Index to define participation and engagement in vocational activities, and Waisman Activities of Daily Living Skills (W-ADL) to identify level of independence in daily living activities. These 4 rating scales were completed at 2 different times over the 5 1/2 year study. The results indicated that greater vocational independence at the first testing period was linked to reductions in autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors, as well as improvement in activities of daily living.

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