JobTIPS Improves Interview Skills for Teens with Autism
By Mark N. Ziats on March 27, 2013
Background: Prior research has shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have more difficulty gaining employment than adults with other disabilities. Deficits in social communication skills, which are important in the initial job interview process, are thought to contribute to job-related problems among individuals with high functioning ASD.
What’s new: In a new study published in the 15 March 2013 issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a program designed to teach individuals with high functioning ASD better job interview skills. The program, called JobTIPS, is an internet-accessed platform containing videos, virtual reality practice sessions, and other tools tailored specifically to people with high functioning ASD.
In their study, the authors assessed the effectiveness of JobTIPS among twenty-two subjects with high functioning ASD, aged 16-19, by evaluating their performance in two separate simulated employment interviews per subject. After the first round of interviews, half the subjects undertook the JobTIPS training while the others did not. Using an independent board of performance reviewers, the authors concluded that subjects who completed the JobTIPS program improved their verbal content skills significantly during the second interview.
Why it’s important: This study suggests that online structured coaching can improve skills needed to obtain employment among youth with ASD. A virtual program may allow easier and more cost-effective access to these types of services. The JobTIPS website can be accessed at http://do2learn.com/JobTIPS.
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