Archived News: In Research and Intervention
July 2014

Personalized Approach to Teaching Communication Skills

On July 17, 2014, the ScienceDaily highlighted a study on the success of personalized communication interventions for children with autism, between the 5-8 years old. In particular, Kasari et al. (2014) focused on the impact of using computer tablets for communication instruction, in addition to speech-generating devices, to teach socio-communication skills. The researchers found that children receiving behavioral intervention, in conjunction with socio-communication therapy and technology, learned to communicate faster. Unique to this study was the researchers’ ability to tweak interventions to the individual child based on their progress.

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Providing Transition Services by Age 14 Produces Better Vocational Outcomes

In a recent article in Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, Cimera, Burgess, and Bedesem (2014) found that providing transition services by age 14 could increase the number of individuals with intellectual disabilities being gainfully employed. Participants were young adults identified with an intellectual disability (ID) and separated into two categories: 7, 520 participants who received transition services at age 14 and 7, 520 participants who received transition services at age 16.

Over the 4 year study, 58% of individuals with ID, who received early transition services (age 14), were employed, whereas only 45% of individuals with ID who received late transition services (age 16) were employed. This study replicated the Cimera, Burgess, and Wiley (2013) study that examined the age of transition for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Cimera, Burgess, and Wiley found similar findings for individuals with ASD and noted a decrease in cost for earlier transition services. The 2014 study did not find that cost of transition services decreased with providing earlier transition services for individuals with ID. In summary, both studies found that additional transition services can improve vocational outcomes for individuals with ID and ASD.

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