Increasing Independence of Adults With Autism in Community Activities: A Brief, Embedded Teaching Strategy

  • Parsons M
  • Reid D
  • Lattimore L
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We evaluated a brief, embedded teaching strategy for increasing the independence of adults with autism in performing community activities. Initially, community situations were observed to identify an activity that a support staff was performing for an individual. The staff person was then trained to implement SWAT Support (say, wait and watch, act out, touch to guide) involving least-to-most prompting and praise to teach the individual on the spot to complete the activity. SWAT Support was implemented by support staff with 3 adults during break activities at a community job (Study 1), with 1 adult in a grocery store (Study 2), and with another individual in a secretary's office (Study 3). All applications of embedded teaching were accompanied by increased participant independence, which generally maintained across follow-up periods of up to 33 weeks. Results are discussed regarding how practitioners could use the teaching strategy to reduce staff and caregiver completion of activities for adults with autism and increase active community participation.

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  • Marsha B. Parsons

  • Dennis H. Reid

  • L. Perry Lattimore

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