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Keywords:

  • Asperger syndrome;
  • autism;
  • behavioral skills training;
  • discrete-trial training;
  • vocational training

Abstract

We evaluated a behavioral skills training program for adults with autism spectrum disorder and mild or no intellectual disabilities who were interested in learning the skills used by behavior therapists to work with young children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Four adults, aged 21 to 30 years, participated. We trained each individually using verbal and written instructions, modeling, and role play with feedback to teach 2 basic skills to an adult who played the role of a young child with autism. We evaluated generalization of the discrete-trial training skills by having the participant (a) teach the adult confederate 2 additional targets that we had not included in training and (b) teach a new skill to a young child with autism. Results indicated that 3 of the 4 participants rapidly acquired discrete-trial training skills and that these skills generalized to new targets with the confederate adults and to teaching an actual child with autism.