Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Employment may lead to improvement in autism symptoms

Date:
January 14, 2014
Source:
Vanderbilt University
Summary:
More independent work environments may lead to reductions in autism symptoms and improve daily living in adults with the disorder, according to a new study.

More independent work environments may lead to reductions in autism symptoms and improve daily living in adults with the disorder, according to a new study released in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined 153 adults with autism and found that greater vocational independence and engagement led to improvements in core features of autism, other problem behaviors and ability to take care of oneself.

"We found that if you put the person with autism in a more independent vocational placement, this led to measurable improvements in their behaviors and daily living skills overall," said lead author Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics and Special Education and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator. "One core value in the disability community and at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is placing people with disabilities in the most inclusive environments possible. In addition, this study gives us evidence that increasing the level of independence in an employment or vocational setting can lead to improvements in autism symptoms and other associated behaviors."

Participants averaged 30 years of age and were part of a larger longitudinal study on adolescents and adults with autism. Data were collected at two time points separated by 5.5 years.

Taylor, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, looked at such autism symptoms as restricted interests, repetitive behaviors, communication impairments and difficulties with social interactions and found the degree of independence in vocational activities was uniquely related to subsequent changes in autism symptoms, other problem behaviors and activities of daily living.

The results provide preliminary evidence that employment may be therapeutic in the development of adults with autism. Similar to typically developing adults, vocational activities may serve as a mechanism for providing cognitive and social stimulations and enhance well-being and quality of life.

"The majority of research on autism has focused on early childhood, but autism is a lifelong disorder with impairments that limit quality of life throughout adulthood," Taylor said. "Given the prevalence of autism, now one in 88 children, we must continue to examine the factors that promote well-being and quality of life for adults with autism and other disabilities as a whole."

Underemployment is a common phenomenon among adults with autism, the authors noted, with around 50 percent of adults with autism primarily spending their days with little community contact and in segregated work or activity settings.

Taylor says this research highlights the importance of employment programs for adults with autism and stresses the need for more intervention programming for this population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vanderbilt University. The original article was written by Jennifer Wetzel. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julie Lounds Taylor, Leann E. Smith, Marsha R. Mailick. Engagement in Vocational Activities Promotes Behavioral Development for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10803-013-2010-9

Cite This Page:

Vanderbilt University. "Employment may lead to improvement in autism symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114130659.htm>.
Vanderbilt University. (2014, January 14). Employment may lead to improvement in autism symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114130659.htm
Vanderbilt University. "Employment may lead to improvement in autism symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114130659.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sorry, Guys, Only Women Can Make Their Voices Sound Sexier

Sorry, Guys, Only Women Can Make Their Voices Sound Sexier

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2014) According to researchers at Albright College, women have the ability to make their voices sound sexier, but men don't. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins