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Toward developing a simulated workplace laboratory for adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorders

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.33032    3,231 Downloads   5,092 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objective: Adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (HF-ASD) often experience difficulty in sustaining employment, yet little is known about workplace deficits in this population. This study aimed to assess the workplace performance of individuals with HF-ASDs in a previously validated laboratory workplace simulation environment. Method: Seven subjects of both sexes, ages 18 - 21 with a clinical diagnosis of ASD were brought in for a 10- hour workplace simulation, with a series of structured and unstructured tasks designed to elicit DSM-IV Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms and to provide objective measures of workplace performance. Results: HF-ASD participants performed significantly worse than Controls on several tasks throughout the day, particularly in the afternoon. Although HF-ASD subjects did not report elevated symptoms of ADHD, they completed significantly less of the unstructured tasks than Controls. Conclusion: These findings suggest that unstructured work activities and a lack of self-awareness are two primary areas of workplace deficits for individuals with HF-ASD.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Fried, R. , Joshi, G. , Kotte, A. , Kagan, E. and Biederman, J. (2013) Toward developing a simulated workplace laboratory for adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 316-322. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.33032.

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