About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5640-5641 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0267

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

MEASURING CHANGE IN SOCIAL COMMUNICATION BEHAVIORS OF YOUNG ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS THROUGH GENDER MATCHING

M. Sanford, J. Waller, T. Caswell

Ithaca College (UNITED STATES)
Introduction:
The number of youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased dramatically over the past decade and currently affects one in 68 children in the US (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014), suggesting that individuals with high functioning autism may be the fastest growing segment of this population. While these young adults with ASD may function within the typical range with regard to language and intelligence, they often display impairments in social communication skills (Rowden-Racette, 2013). Such social and communication differences often result in coping with stress, frustration, and anxiety, which frequently present as academic and/or vocational challenges.

This presentation describes how gender-matched, neuro-typical peers have had a positive measurable influence on the social interaction skills of adolescents with ASD. Conversational management skills, body posture, orienting self to the listener, information redundancy, and attending to social boundaries showed significant improvements. The concept of matching patients and therapists/teachers has been explored with adolescents with results revealing that gender-matched dyads reported closer alliances and were more likely to complete treatment (Wintersteen, Mensinger, & Diamond, 2005).

Methods:
Systematically identified clinical observations that assist in sorting out the complex, multidimensional construct of social communication skills are suggested. Both verbal and non-verbal performances applicable to the academic and vocational setting are identified and presented. Participants were matched with same gender, neuro-typical peer models to engage in structured conversation to address school-based activities and to plan social events. This presentation identifies communication and behavioral shifts in adolescent participants when the presence of same-gender neuro-typical models was increased.

A prospective, non-randomized group design was used to compare observational information gathered on the interactional differences. Relevant “before and after” social behaviors and specific individual participants’ goals were observed, recorded, and identified through video-modeling tasks (Delano, 2007) and through the regular video-recorded sessions used in this study.

Results:
Participants generalized their individual program goals to their everyday experiences evidenced by shared communicative intent and through teacher and care-taker interviews. Improved shifts in social communication skills were observed when the presence of matched-gender dyads were increased, confirming specific social communication performance advancements. Preliminary findings suggest that including gender matched neuro-typical peer models could be an effective component of social communication programs for adolescents and young adults with ASD and easily applied to academic, vocational, and social settings.
@InProceedings{SANFORD2016MEA,
author = {Sanford, M. and Waller, J. and Caswell, T.},
title = {MEASURING CHANGE IN SOCIAL COMMUNICATION BEHAVIORS OF YOUNG ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS THROUGH GENDER MATCHING},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0267},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0267},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5640-5641}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Sanford AU - J. Waller AU - T. Caswell
TI - MEASURING CHANGE IN SOCIAL COMMUNICATION BEHAVIORS OF YOUNG ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS THROUGH GENDER MATCHING
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0267
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 5640
EP - 5641
ER -
M. Sanford, J. Waller, T. Caswell (2016) MEASURING CHANGE IN SOCIAL COMMUNICATION BEHAVIORS OF YOUNG ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS THROUGH GENDER MATCHING, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 5640-5641.
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