Since socialization deficits are the primary characteristic of autism spectrum disorder, attaining and maintaining employment in adulthood can prove to be problematic. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a nine-week program designed to teach workplace social skills to young adults with autism in a community setting. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze outcomes. Quantitative methods consisted of live observational behavioral coding. Qualitative measures used written intake and discharge reports, obtained from the program's coordinators, to analyze their perceptions of pre-intervention goals and post-intervention outcomes and remaining barriers related to social skills. Overall outcomes suggest the program does produce slight improvement in social skills for individuals with autism. Quantitative outcomes indicated specific improvements in engagement and quality of engagement when participants were in the presence of both coworkers and the public. Likewise, qualitative report comparisons indicated improvements in specific conversation skill areas. Based on this study's findings, schools and communities should encourage transition services to teach workplace social skills to young adults with autism in community-based settings. This type of learning experience may better prepare these young adults for successful future employment.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Thomas, Haley Anne, "Workplace Social Skills for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Single-Subject Community-Based Intervention" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7421.
autism, social skills, workplace, vocational skills, transition program, community-based