Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 3364–3369 | Cite as

Brief Report: Vocational Outcomes for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders at Six Months After Virtual Reality Job Interview Training

  • Matthew J. SmithEmail author
  • Michael F. Fleming
  • Michael A. Wright
  • Molly Losh
  • Laura Boteler Humm
  • Dale Olsen
  • Morris D. Bell
Brief Report


Young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have low employment rates and job interviewing presents a critical barrier to employment for them. Results from a prior randomized controlled efficacy trial suggested virtual reality job interview training (VR-JIT) improved interviewing skills among trainees with ASD, but not controls with ASD. We conducted a brief survey with 23 of 26 participants from this study to evaluate their vocational outcomes at 6-month follow-up with a focus on whether or not they attained a competitive position (employment or competitive volunteering). Logistic regression indicated VR-JIT trainees had greater odds of attaining a competitive position than controls (OR 7.82, p < 0.05). Initial evidence suggests VR-JIT is a promising intervention that enhances vocational outcomes among young adults with high-functioning ASD.


Autism spectrum disorder Virtual reality training Vocational outcomes 



Support for this work was provided by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral. The authors acknowledge research staff at Northwestern University’s Clinical Research Program for data collection and our participants for volunteering their time. Dr. Olsen and Laura Boteler-Humm are employed by and own shares in SIMmersion LLC. They contributed to the manuscript, but were not involved in analyzing the data. Dr. Bell was a paid consultant by SIMmersion LLC to assist with the development of VR-JIT. Dr. Bell and his family do not have a financial stake in the company. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standard

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael F. Fleming
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael A. Wright
    • 1
  • Molly Losh
    • 1
    • 3
  • Laura Boteler Humm
    • 4
  • Dale Olsen
    • 4
  • Morris D. Bell
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.School of CommunicationNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  4. 4.SIMmersion LLCColumbiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry, Department of Veteran AffairsYale School of MedicineWest HavenUSA

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