Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1329-1338

First online:

Increasing Independence in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of Three Focused Interventions

  • Kara HumeAffiliated withFrank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Rachel LoftinAffiliated withInstitute for Juvenile Research, The University of Illinois at Chicago
  • , Johanna LantzAffiliated withColumbia Developmental Neuropsychiatry Program, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University

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The features of autism that inhibit the independent demonstration of skills, as well as three effective interventions for increasing independence, are explored in this review article. Independent performance may prove difficult for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) due to the core deficits of the disability, as well as executive function deficits that impact initiation and generalization. These difficulties, coupled with intervention strategies that encourage over-reliance on adult support, contribute to poor long term outcomes for adults with ASD in employment, housing, and relationship development. Self-monitoring, video modeling, and individual work systems each emphasize a shift in stimulus control from continuous adult management to an alternative stimulus and have proven successful in addressing executive function deficits and increasing independence.


Autism Independence Executive function Self-monitoring Video modeling Work system