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Effectiveness of the BOOST-A online transition planning program for adolescents on the autism spectrum: A quasi-randomized controlled trial
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD. School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7275-3472
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Rehabilitation. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. CHILD. School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0756-6862
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
2017 (English)In: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, ISSN 1753-2000, E-ISSN 1753-2000, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 54Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The majority of existing transition planning programs are focused on people with a disability in general and may not meet the specific need of adolescents on the autism spectrum. In addition, these interventions focus on specific skills (e.g. job readiness or self-determination) rather than the overall transition planning process and there are methodological limitations to many of the studies determining their effectiveness. The Better OutcOmes & Successful Transitions for Autism (BOOST-A (TM)) is an online program that supports adolescents on the autism spectrum to prepare for leaving school. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of the BOOST-A T in enhancing self-determination. 

Methods: A quasi-randomized controlled trial was conducted with adolescents on the autism spectrum enrolled in years 8 to 11 in Australian schools (N = 94). Participants had to have basic computer skills and the ability to write at a year 5 reading level. Participants were allocated to a control (n = 45) or intervention (n = 49) group and participants were blinded to the trial hypothesis. The intervention group used the BOOST-A T for 12 months, while the control group participated in regular practice. Outcomes included self-determination, career planning and exploration, quality of life, environmental support and domain specific self-determination. Data were collected from parents and adolescents. 

Results: There were no significant differences in overall self-determination between groups. Results indicated significant differences in favor of the intervention group in three areas: opportunity for self-determination at home as reported by parents; career exploration as reported by parents and adolescents; and transition-specific self-determination as reported by parents. 

Conclusions: Results provide preliminary evidence that the BOOST-A T can enhance some career-readiness outcomes. Lack of significant outcomes related to self-determination at school and career planning may be due to the lack of face-to-face training and parents being the primary contacts in the study. Further research is needed to determine effectiveness of the BOOST-A T related to post-secondary education and employment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2017. Vol. 11, no 1, article id 54
Keyword [en]
Asperger’s syndrome; Autism spectrum disorder; Career development; Disability; Employment; High school; Post-secondary education; Self-determination theory; Strengths-based
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37560DOI: 10.1186/s13034-017-0191-2ISI: 000412695700001PubMedID: 29051774Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85030863747Local ID: HLKCHILDISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37560DiVA, id: diva2:1147227
Available from: 2017-10-05 Created: 2017-10-05 Last updated: 2017-12-20Bibliographically approved

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