Adults with Autism: Employment skills training

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty gaining and maintaining employment.  A recently completed systematic review located 15 studies meeting inclusion criteria trailing vocational interventions for adults with ASD. No intervention emerged as evidence-based for this population, although video-based interventions and simulated training may be considered emerging interventions. The range of skills investigated in these vocational studies was limited and inadequate in terms of addressing barriers to employment. This workshop explores the use of technology in training adults with autism to learn new skills and to manage themselves in a work environment. The project broadly consists of two parts:
1. Creating a safe and predictable context to facilitate participation and engagement;
2. Teaching job-specific skills to adults with ASD using modelling and self-prompting procedures. Results across four participants indicate that in vivo and video-modelling techniques can both be differentially effective in teaching a range of vocational (gardening, packaging, delivery and web management) and social communicative skills, while skill difficulty, task preference and participant heterogeneity all appear to play mediating roles in skill acquisition. This presentation describes the context of the project as a whole, including the vision of the not-for-profit social enterprise ‘EdAble’