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The Effect of Choice-Making Opportunities During Activity Schedules on Task Engagement of Adults with Autism


Increasing choice and participation by adults with autism spectrum disorders is an important, but neglected, aspect of research and services. This study evaluated the effects of choice-making opportunities, embedded within activity schedules, and contingent praise on the engagement of three adults with autism in a community vocational setting. In the baseline condition, staff assigned the order of the tasks. In the Choice condition and Maintenance phases, the participants chose the order of tasks that supervisors assigned to them. They made their own activity schedules by writing down the order of their tasks for that morning. Social praise was provided contingent on the participant's task completion. The same tasks were used in baseline, intervention, and maintenance phases. During the Choice and Maintenance conditions, client engagement was substantially higher than baseline for all three participants. Increasing choicemaking opportunities within activity schedules was an effective and socially acceptable way to increase choice and engagement in adults with autism.

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Watanabe, M., Sturmey, P. The Effect of Choice-Making Opportunities During Activity Schedules on Task Engagement of Adults with Autism. J Autism Dev Disord 33, 535–538 (2003).

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  • Choice
  • activity
  • schedule
  • engagement