How can we effectively develop independent functioning of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder? a thesis including published works

2017-05-17T02:16:25Z (GMT) by Carr, Monica
This thesis presents an exploration of how to develop independent functioning for children and adults who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Two core areas of research are presented in a series of four published papers. Together with the introduction, literature review, discussion and conclusion chapters, eight chapters form the thesis via publication. All data included in this thesis has been extracted from systematic searches of peer-reviewed published literature and has drawn from self-management, exercise, and goal setting interventions. The first area of research explored how to measure the strength of treatment effect in single-case design (SCD) research. Over two sequential studies, data collection trends over time, and a subsequent sensitivity analysis of three appropriate treatment effect calculation methods was conducted. The widely reported percentage of nonoverlapping data (PND) served as the basis of comparison, and in addition both the percentage of all non-overlapping data (PAND) and non-overlap of all pairs (NAP) were examined. The second area of research explored the use of self-management techniques to increase independent functioning for individuals diagnosed with ASD. A meta-analysis of these SCD interventions was conducted for studies that targeted the development of a new skill or the improvement of an existing skill. The U.S. Department of Education, What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) single-case design technical documentation guidelines were adopted to evaluate the quality of studies included in this review. PND was used to measure strength of treatment effect. One important finding of the meta-analysis indicated that goal setting skills were infrequently reported within the self-management literature for participants with ASD. It was argued that goal setting skills are an important component of independent functioning for children and adults with ASD, and a systematic review of the broader goal setting literature was conducted. Results were examined with respect to their implications for participants on the autism spectrum, and a future research agenda was proposed.