A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the ACCESS Program: A Group Intervention to Improve Social, Adaptive Functioning, Stress Coping, and Self-Determination Outcomes in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
The purpose of this pilot randomized controlled trial was to investigate the acceptability and efficacy of the Acquiring Career, Coping, Executive control, Social Skills (ACCESS) Program, a group intervention tailored for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to enhance critical skills and beliefs that promote adult functioning, including social and adaptive skills, self-determination skills, and coping self-efficacy. Forty-four adults with ASD (ages 18–38; 13 females) and their caregivers were randomly assigned to treatment or waitlist control. Compared to controls, adults in treatment significantly improved in adaptive and self-determination skills, per caregiver report, and self-reported greater belief in their ability to access social support to cope with stressors. Results provide evidence for the acceptability and efficacy of the ACCESS Program.
KeywordsAdults Autism Spectrum Disorder Randomized controlled trial Social skills Self-determination CBT for Anxiety
We would like to thank the young adults and families who generously participated, and the co-facilitators and research assistants for their invaluable help.
TMO conceived of the study, participated in its design, coordination, data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation of data, and drafted the manuscript; BWP participated in the design and interpretation of the data; SR participated in the design and coordination of the study; GX participated in the design of the study and performed statistical analysis; AS participated in the design of the study and interpretation of data; MS conceived of the study, and participated in its design, coordination and interpretation of data, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This work was supported by a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence grant and a National Institute Mental Health R01 Grant (1R01MH106518) awarded to Marjorie Solomon.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving Human Participants
All procedures performed on human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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