The transition from high school to adulthood is difficult for youth with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Recognizing these challenges, there is a small but emerging body of literature testing interventions to improve the transition process. But there are many challenges in performing intervention research that have yet to be fully addressed. We discuss issues that should be considered when conducting interventions with individuals with autism spectrum disorder to improve the transition to adulthood, drawing from our study of a parent training to facilitate access to adult services during the transition years. Issues covered include (1) timing (when is an intervention most effective?), (2) mode of delivery (what is the best way to present information?), (3) outcomes (how can intervention outcomes be accurately measured?), (4) target population (who is the intervention designed to help?), and (5) level of intervention (who should the intervention target?). Our answers, though preliminary, show the need to be flexible, to adopt a trial-and-error stance, and to listen to the needs—both explicit and implicit—of youth with autism spectrum disorder and their parents as they navigate the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood.
- intervention research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology