LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM FOR ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
There is a significant lack in the development of comprehensive programs centred in teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This gap is especially notorious outside the English-speaking countries. While considerable research has focused in children and social skills, the daily skills, gender perspective, social codes in technological environments, sexual development and sexuality education are still not included in the general curricula for therapist and specialists.
A research has been conducted with the aim to develope a complete curriculum for skills that need to be improved in teenagers with ASD. In the current study we use an experts’s panel to develop an iterative process of decision making, using Delphi method. The panel of experts has to answer different questions in four rounds. The first round devoted to get consensus about Social Skills definition. The second round was to evaluate and suggest the priority areas that intervention has to involve in adolescents with ASD. On the third round the experts had to determine and evaluate indicators as specific aims that define each area. The forth round was to define tools for intervention and assessment measures to value each indicator.
20 areas and 200 indicators were selected to be improved in interventions with teenagers with ASD. The areas that were defined as more important were social skills, communication skills, rights and assertive skills, use of social networks, sharing games, planning and sense of time, theory of mind, solving problems and decision taking, emotional and self-regulation, skills for the management of sensory disturbances and perception disorders, sensorial integration strategies, hygiene, food habits, active life and postural control, self-esteem, abuse prevention, sexuality, manage money and basic bureaucracy, travel skills, safety skills and leisure skills.