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  • 1.
    Hatfield, Megan
    et al.
    School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
    Falkmer, Marita
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD. School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
    Falkmer, Torbjörn
    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.
    Ciccarelli, Marina
    School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
    Effectiveness of the BOOST-A online transition planning program for adolescents on the autism spectrum: A quasi-randomized controlled trial2017In: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, ISSN 1753-2000, E-ISSN 1753-2000, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 54Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Hatfield, Megan
    et al.
    School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
    Falkmer, Marita
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD. School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
    Falkmer, Torbjörn
    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.
    Ciccarelli, Marina
    Occupational Therapy Program, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.
    Evaluation of the effectiveness of an online transition planning program for adolescents on the autism spectrum: Trial protocol2016In: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, ISSN 1753-2000, E-ISSN 1753-2000, Vol. 10, no 48, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The transition from high school to post-secondary education and work is difficult for adolescents on the autism spectrum. Transition planning can be an effective way of supporting adolescents on the autism spectrum to prepare for leaving school and to succeed in obtaining employment; however, there is a need for an autism-specific transition planning program with proven effectiveness. This paper describes a trial protocol for evaluating the Better OutcOmes & Successful Transitions for Autism (BOOST-A™); an online interactive program that empowers adolescents on the autism spectrum to plan their transition from school to further study, training, or employment.

    METHODS: The trial will involve adolescents on the autism spectrum in high school and their parents, who will be alternately assigned to a control group (regular practice) or an intervention group (using the BOOST-A™). The BOOST-A™ was developed using the PRECEDE-PROCEED model, and is based on the self-determination model, and the strengths- and technology-based approaches. It involves participants completing a series of online modules. The primary outcome will be self-determination, because high self-determination has been linked to successful transition to employment among adolescents on the autism spectrum. Secondary outcomes will include domain-specific self-determination, career planning and exploration, quality of life, and environmental support. Data will be obtained from questionnaires completed by the adolescent on the autism spectrum and their parent/s. Data collection will take place at baseline (Time point 1) and 12 months later (Time point 2).

    DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This trial will provide evidence of the effectiveness of the BOOST-A™ to assist adolescents on the autism spectrum to successfully transition from school. 

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