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Thompson, C., McDonald, J., Kidd, T., Falkmer, T., Bölte, S. & Girdler, S. (2020). "I don't want to be a patient": Peer mentoring partnership fosters communication for autistic university students. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"I don't want to be a patient": Peer mentoring partnership fosters communication for autistic university students
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2020 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, ISSN 1103-8128, E-ISSN 1651-2014Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Background: Despite recognition of the benefits of post-school education in improving life outcomes for autistic adults their university completion rates remain low.

Aim: To explore the experiences of undergraduate autistic university students participating in specialist peer mentoring (SPM) to identify active ingredients in the peer mentoring process and to examine the impact of SPM on social communication.

Material and method: A total of 30 (8 female; M age = 22.3; SD = 6.7) undergraduate autistic university students engaged in SPM participated in this study. A quantitative pre-test post-test design examined changes in autistic traits. In parallel, the experiences of participating in SPM were explored through semi-structured interviews.

Results: Improvements were noted at post-test on the Social Responsiveness Scale-2 total score p = 0.02), and its Social Communication, (p = 0.03) and Social Motivation (p = 0.03) sub-scales. Four themes emerged from the interviews: Developing Partnership and Understanding, Modelling and Practising Communication, Psychological Support and Grading and Planning Skills.

Conclusions: These results indicated that the mentor-mentee partnership was a crucial active ingredient of SPM. This partnership appeared to modify social cognition and motivation for autistic university students through modelling and practising communication.

Significance: These results demonstrate that SPM can support participation at university for autistic university students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020
Keywords
Autism spectrum disorder, University, mentee, mentor, mentorship, self-advocacy
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-48349 (URN)10.1080/11038128.2020.1738545 (DOI)000520554700001 ()32180486 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85082747254 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2020-05-12 Created: 2020-05-12 Last updated: 2020-05-12
Black, M. H., Mahdi, S., Milbourn, B., Scott, M., Gerber, A., Esposito, C., . . . Girdler, S. (2020). Multi-informant International Perspectives on the Facilitators and Barriers to Employment for Autistic Adults. Autism Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multi-informant International Perspectives on the Facilitators and Barriers to Employment for Autistic Adults
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2020 (English)In: Autism Research, ISSN 1939-3792, E-ISSN 1939-3806Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Employment rates for autistic individuals are poor, even compared to those from other disability groups. Internationally, there remains limited understanding of the factors influencing employment across the stages of preparing for, gaining, and maintaining employment. This is the third in a series of studies conducted as part of an International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) policy brief intended to improve employment outcomes for autistic individuals. A multi-informant international survey with five key stakeholder groups, including autistic individuals, their families, employers, service providers, and researchers, was undertaken in Australia, Sweden, and the United States to understand the facilitators and barriers to employment for autistic adults. A total of 687 individuals participated, including autistic individuals (n = 246), family members (n = 233), employers (n = 35), clinicians/service providers (n = 123), and researchers (n = 50). Perceptions of the facilitators and barriers to employment differed significantly across both key stakeholder groups and countries, however, ensuring a good job match and focusing on strengths were identified by all groups as important for success. Key barriers to employment included stigma, a lack of understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and communication difficulties. Results suggest that a holistic approach to employment for autistic individuals is required, aimed at facilitating communication between key stakeholders, addressing attitudes and understanding of ASD in the workplace, using strength-based approaches and providing early work experience. LAY SUMMARY: Autistic individuals experience significant difficulty getting and keeping a job. This article presents a survey study involving autistic individuals, their families, employers, service providers and researchers in Australia, Sweden, and the United States to understand their perspectives on the factors that support or act as barriers to employment. While perspectives varied across key stakeholders, strategies such as using a holistic approach, targeting workplace attitudes and understanding, focusing on strengths, and providing early work experience are important for success. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Keywords
adults, autism, cross-cultural, employment, key stakeholders
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-48111 (URN)10.1002/aur.2288 (DOI)000519468800001 ()32170919 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85082617991 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS: HLKCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS: HLKCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS: HLKCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2020-04-09 Created: 2020-04-09 Last updated: 2020-05-11
Parsons, D., Cordier, R., Lee, H., Falkmer, T. & Vaz, S. (2019). A randomised controlled trial of an information communication technology delivered intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder living in regional Australia. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 49(2), 569-581
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A randomised controlled trial of an information communication technology delivered intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder living in regional Australia
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2019 (English)In: Journal of autism and developmental disorders, ISSN 0162-3257, E-ISSN 1573-3432, Vol. 49, no 2, p. 569-581Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This exploratory randomised controlled trial tested the effectiveness of a tablet-based information communication technology early intervention application to augment existing therapy with the aim of improving visual motor, imitation, language and social skills in young children with ASD who reside in regional areas. Fifty-nine participants were recruited and randomised to either a therapy-as-usual group or intervention group. With the exception of the expressive language subscale on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning, no significant between-group differences were recorded for visual motor, imitation, receptive language and social skills of participants between baseline and post-intervention. When all participants were pooled and measured over time, improvements were shown in receptive and pragmatic language and social skills; these gains were maintained, thus suggesting skill acquisition. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Early intervention, Information technology, Parent training, RCT design, adult, Article, Australia, autism, controlled study, exploratory research, female, follow up, human, language, male, middle aged, patient, priority journal, randomized controlled trial, skill, social competence, child, health care delivery, interpersonal communication, pilot study, preschool child, procedures, psychology, telemedicine, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Child, Preschool, Communication, Delivery of Health Care, Early Medical Intervention, Humans, Pilot Projects, Social Skills
National Category
Occupational Therapy Pediatrics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47083 (URN)10.1007/s10803-018-3734-3 (DOI)000458251700012 ()30209645 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85053491755 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved
Taylor, S., McLean, B., Falkmer, T., Carey, L. M., Girdler, S., Elliott, C. & Blair, E. (2019). Assessing body sensations in children: Intra-rater reliability of assessment and effects of age. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82(3), 179-185
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing body sensations in children: Intra-rater reliability of assessment and effects of age
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2019 (English)In: British Journal of Occupational Therapy, ISSN 0308-0226, E-ISSN 1477-6006, Vol. 82, no 3, p. 179-185Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: This article examines the effect of age and gender on somatosensory capacity for children and adolescents, and provides preliminary normative data and reliability for the SenScreen © Kids, a new standardised measure of touch, wrist position sense and haptic object recognition.

Method: A cross-sectional study of 88 typically developing children aged 6–15 years (mean 10.3 years; SD 2.6 years) was used to determine the developmental effects of age and gender on somatosensory capacity. Intra-rater reliability was assessed in 22 of the 88 participants at two time points (mean 8.8 years; SD 2.6 years).

Results: Statistically significant differences were observed between age groups for tactile discrimination, wrist position sense and haptic object recognition, but not for touch registration for which all except one participant achieved a maximum score. There was no effect of gender. Three of four SenScreen Kids subtests demonstrated good intra-rater agreement between time points.

Conclusions: Somatosensory capacity increased with age for typically developing children aged 6–15 years. Three subtests of the SenScreen Kids demonstrated good intra-rater reliability with typically developing children. Further investigation of reliability is required, and all subtests require psychometric testing with clinical populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
Adolescent, child, occupational therapy, outcome assessment, proprioception, stereognosis, touch, article, cross-sectional study, female, gender, groups by age, human, human experiment, intrarater reliability, major clinical study, male, pattern recognition, preschool child, registration, sensation, tactile discrimination, wrist
National Category
Pediatrics Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47140 (URN)10.1177/0308022618786933 (DOI)000460048400006 ()2-s2.0-85052580292 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved
Tammimies, K., Li, D., Rabkina, I., Stamouli, S., Becker, M., Nicolaou, V., . . . Bölte, S. (2019). Association between copy number variation and response to social skills training in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scientific Reports, 9(1), Article ID 9810.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Association between copy number variation and response to social skills training in Autism Spectrum Disorder
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2019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, no 1, article id 9810Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Challenges in social communication and interaction are core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for which social skills group training (SSGT) is a commonly used intervention. SSGT has shown modest and heterogeneous effects. One of the major genetic risk factors in ASD is rare copy number variation (CNV). However, limited information exists whether CNV profiles could be used to aid intervention decisions. Here, we analyzed the rare genic CNV carrier status for 207 children, of which 105 received SSGT and 102 standard care as part of a randomized clinical trial for SSGT. We found that being a carrier of rare genic CNV did not have an impact on the SSGT outcome measured by the parent-report Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). However, when stratifying by pathogenicity and size of the CNVs, we identified that carriers of clinically significant and large genic CNVs (>500 kb) showed inferior SRS outcomes at post-intervention (P = 0.047 and P = 0.036, respectively) and follow-up (P = 0.008 and P = 0.072, respectively) when adjusting for standard care effects. Our study provides preliminary evidence that carriers of clinically significant and large genic CNVs might not benefit as much from SSGT as non-carriers. Our results indicate that genetic information might help guide the modifications of interventions in ASD. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2019
National Category
Neurology Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47078 (URN)10.1038/s41598-019-46396-1 (DOI)000474335800007 ()31285490 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85068760509 (Scopus ID)GOA HHJ 2019;HHJCHILDIS (Local ID)GOA HHJ 2019;HHJCHILDIS (Archive number)GOA HHJ 2019;HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 921-2014-6999Swedish Research Council FormasVinnova, 259-2012-24Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research , ICA14-0028The Swedish Brain FoundationÅke Wiberg Foundation
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved
Arnold, S. R. C., Foley, K.-R., Hwang, Y. I., Richdale, A. L., Uljarevic, M., Lawson, L. P., . . . Trollor, J. N. (2019). Cohort profile: The Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism. BMJ Open, 9(12), Article ID e030798.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cohort profile: The Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism
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2019 (English)In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 9, no 12, article id e030798Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: There is a significant knowledge gap regarding the lives of adults on the autism spectrum. Some literature suggests significant health and mental health inequalities for autistic adults, yet there is a lack of comprehensive longitudinal studies exploring risk factors. Further, most research does not include the perspective of autistic adults in its conduct or design. Here, we describe the baseline characteristics and inclusive research approach of a nationwide longitudinal study. ​

PARTICIPANTS: The Autism Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism's Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism (ALSAA) is a questionnaire-based longitudinal study of autistic adults (25+ years old) with follow-up at 2-year intervals. Autistic advisors were involved in each stage of research apart from data analysis. Three questionnaires were developed: self-report, informant report (ie, proxy report) and carers (ie, carer experiences and characteristics). ​

FINDINGS TO DATE: An inclusive research protocol was developed and agreed with autistic advisors. Baseline data were collected from 295 autistic adults (M=41.8 years, SD=12.0) including 42 informant responses, 146 comparison participants and 102 carers. The majority of autistic participants (90%) had been diagnosed in adulthood (M=35.3 years, SD=15.1). When compared with controls, autistic adults scored higher on self-report measures of current depression and anxiety. Participant comments informed ongoing data gathering. Participants commented on questionnaire length, difficulty with literal interpretation of forced response items and expressed gratitude for research in this area.

​FUTURE PLANS: A large comprehensive dataset relating to autistic adults and their carers has been gathered, creating a good platform for longitudinal follow-up repeat surveys and collaborative research. Several outputs are in development, with focus on health service barriers and usage, caregivers, impact of diagnosis in adulthood, further scale validations, longitudinal analyses of loneliness, suicidal ideation, mental illness risk factors and other areas. Baseline data confirm poorer mental health of autistic adults. The ALSAA demonstrates a working approach to inclusive research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2019
Keywords
adult; autism; longitudinal
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-46763 (URN)10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030798 (DOI)000512773400074 ()31806608 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85076155615 (Scopus ID)GOA HHJ 2019,GOA HLK 2019;HHJCHILDIS,HLKCHILDIS (Local ID)GOA HHJ 2019,GOA HLK 2019;HHJCHILDIS,HLKCHILDIS (Archive number)GOA HHJ 2019,GOA HLK 2019;HHJCHILDIS,HLKCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2019-11-04 Created: 2019-11-04 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved
Black, M. H., Vaz, S., Parsons, R., Falkmer, T., Tang, J. S. Y., Morris, S., . . . Falkmer, M. (2019). Disembedding performance and eye gaze behavior of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 66, Article ID 101417.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disembedding performance and eye gaze behavior of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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2019 (English)In: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, ISSN 1750-9467, E-ISSN 1878-0237, Vol. 66, article id 101417Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Atypical visual perception in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may contribute to superiority in disembedding tasks. Gaze behavior has provided some insights in to mechanisms underlying this purported superiority in children, however evidence is limited and requires additional investigation.

Method: The performance and gaze behavior of 27 adolescents with ASD and 27 matched typically developing (TD) peers were examined during the Figure Ground Subtest of the Test of Visual Perception Skills-third edition (TVPS-3).

Results: Compared to their TD counterparts, adolescents with ASD were no different in accuracy, however, had a longer response time. Differences in gaze behavior were also observed, characterized by adolescents with ASD spending less time viewing the incorrect and target figures, and spending a greater proportion of time viewing irrelevant areas of the stimuli compared to TD adolescents.

Conclusions: Results suggest that while altered visual perception was observed, this did not contribute to superiority in disembedding tasks in adolescents with ASD. Future research is required to elucidate conditions under which altered visual perception may contribute to behavioral superiority. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019
Keywords
Enhanced perceptual functioning, Eye tracking, Local bias, Weak central coherence
National Category
Pediatrics Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-45475 (URN)10.1016/j.rasd.2019.101417 (DOI)000480668200008 ()2-s2.0-85068396586 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS,HLKCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS,HLKCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS,HLKCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2019-08-07 Created: 2019-08-07 Last updated: 2019-09-30Bibliographically approved
Zhou, H., Xia, J., Norman, R., Hughes, B., Nikolova, G., Kelobonye, K., . . . Falkmer, T. (2019). Do air passengers behave differently to other regional travellers? A travel mode choice model investigation. Journal of Air Transport Management, 79, Article ID 101682.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do air passengers behave differently to other regional travellers? A travel mode choice model investigation
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Air Transport Management, ISSN 0969-6997, E-ISSN 1873-2089, Vol. 79, article id 101682Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This research aims to investigate travel mode choices and behaviours of air passengers and community respondents in regional Western Australia. Multinomial logit and Nested logit models were used for the mode choice analysis based on Stated-Preference survey data. The results indicate that travel cost, journey time, service frequency and seat comfort played important roles in affecting travellers' mode choices. For business trips, air passengers are willing to pay more to reduce journey time and increase seat comfort and service frequency compared to community respondents. While for non-business trips, these differences were much smaller. The findings will provide some insights in understanding people's mode choice behaviours and therefore guide policy makers and airlines in developing policies and practice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019
Keywords
Air passenger, Aviation, Business travel, Nested logit model, Travel mode choice, Willingness to pay, air transportation, airline industry, cost analysis, logit analysis, transportation mode, travel behavior, travel demand, Australia
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47081 (URN)10.1016/j.jairtraman.2019.101682 (DOI)000478707700005 ()2-s2.0-85067231722 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved
Lim, Y. H., Lee, H. C., Falkmer, T., Allison, G. T., Tan, T., Lee, W. L. & Morris, S. L. (2019). Effect of visual information on postural control in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 49(12), 4731-4739
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effect of visual information on postural control in adults with autism spectrum disorder
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2019 (English)In: Journal of autism and developmental disorders, ISSN 0162-3257, E-ISSN 1573-3432, Vol. 49, no 12, p. 4731-4739Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sensory processing difficulties affect the development of sensorimotor skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the effect of sensory information on postural control is unclear in the ASD adult population. The present study examined the effect of visual information on postural control as well as the attentional demands associated with postural control in fourteen adults with ASD and seventeen typically developed adults. The results showed that postural sway and attention demands of postural control were larger in adults with ASD than in typically developed adults. These findings indicate that visual processing used for postural control may be different in adults with ASD. Further research in visual field processing and visual motion processing may elucidate these sensorimotor differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Attention, Autistic disorder, Postural balance, Sensorimotor, Sensory information, Visual processing
National Category
Neurology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42301 (URN)10.1007/s10803-018-3634-6 (DOI)000495241300003 ()29882108 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85048102403 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2018-12-14 Created: 2018-12-14 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
Lim, Y. H., Lee, H. C., Falkmer, T., Allison, G. T., Tan, T., Lee, W. L. & Morris, S. L. (2019). Effect of visual information on postural control in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effect of visual information on postural control in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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2019 (English)In: Journal of autism and developmental disorders, ISSN 0162-3257, E-ISSN 1573-3432Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Visual information is crucial for postural control. Visual processing in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was hypothesized to be less efficient and thus they would display a less stable standing posture than typically developing children. The present study compared the static standing responses and attentional demands of 15 children with ASD and 18 control participants in conditions of eyes open and eyes closed. The results showed that postural responses and attention invested in standing were similar between the participant groups in the two visual conditions. Both groups displayed a more stable posture when their eyes were open in comparison to eyes closed. The finding suggests that normal postural control development could occur in children with ASD. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Attention, Autistic disorder, Postural balance, Sensorimotor, Sensory information, Visual processing
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47194 (URN)10.1007/s10803-019-04182-y (DOI)31435819 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85071292042 (Scopus ID);HHJCHILDIS (Local ID);HHJCHILDIS (Archive number);HHJCHILDIS (OAI)
Available from: 2019-12-20 Created: 2019-12-20 Last updated: 2019-12-20
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-0756-6862

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