A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Apple iPod Touch as Task Support Among People With ASD on the JobBy Gentry, Tony; Autism Spectrum Disorder Assistive Technology for Cognition (ASDATAC) Project,
Publication Date: March 17, 2011
Article describes the first year of a randomized controlled trial of handheld computers as cognitive-behavioral aids for people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In collaboration with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitation Services, the study recruits people with ASD who are initiating a vocational trial with the support of a job coach. Recruits are randomized into one of two groups to (1) immediately receive an Apple iPod Touch and be trained in its use as a cognitive-behavioral aid on the job, or (2) be provided with an Apple iPod Touch and training after being followed for 3 months. The vocational success of 19 participants in the two groups was compared during the first 3 months of their work history. Job retention, hours of job coach support needed, and worker and co-worker satisfaction were examined along with utilization of the iPod Touch, strategies employed, and satisfaction with the device as a job support aid. Preliminary data analysis revealed that for these participants, the iPod Touch (a) reduced the need for job coaching support, (b) improved on-time performance of job related duties, (c) supported independent performance of complex work tasks, (d) supported appropriate social behavior in work settings, (e) improved the worker’s sense of self-efficacy, and (f) was readily accepted by co-workers and employers as a useful vocational support aid. Profiles are included of 4 representative study participants aged 19 to 24 years and working in hospital supply, fast food restaurant, and auto body shop settings. Future directions of the pilot study, which will eventually include 54 participants, are discussed.
Published by: Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (Website:http://www.worksupport.com/)
Link to text: http://www.worksupport.com/resources/viewContent.cfm/956