Supporting the Transition to Employment for Autistic Youth in Rural Communities

Author: ORCID icon
McLucas, Alan, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Therrien, Bill, ED-CISE, University of Virginia

Youth with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual and developmental disabilities often require additional support to learn social skills commonly used to solve problems and interact with coworkers on the job. In rural communities, students may lack access to job experiences or related service providers to support them in acquiring these skills resulting in the need for high-quality, classroom-based interventions. This three-paper dissertation includes a systematic literature review examining transition interventions conducted in rural settings and two studies using multiple probe across behaviors designs to examine the effects of an intervention involving video modeling plus feedback to teach common vocational social skills to transition-aged youth with autism or intellectual disability. One study occurred in a more clinical setting and one occurred in a rural public school. Six total individuals participated in the studies. Findings indicate that video modeling plus feedback resulted in increased use of targeted skills in a simulated work environment. Generalization to natural settings was inconsistent in the first study and improved significantly following additional programming for generalization in the second study. Implications and areas of future research are discussed.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
transition to employment, autism, video modeling, rural, vocational social skills, intellectual disability
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