Even among high functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) employment outcomes vary widely. The social communication deficits of those with ASD can influence these outcomes. Thus, increasing job interview skills may serve to improve outcomes.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an interview skills curriculum (ISC) for young adults with ASD.
The study was conducted in Tallahassee, Florida
Participants were recruited from Florida State University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). Twenty-eight adults with ASD between the ages of 18-36 took part in the study. All had a verbal IQ above 70 and possessed a high school diploma or GED. There were 27 males and one female.
Mock interviews were scored using the Social Pragmatic Scale and linear regression was used to analyze variation in performance.
The experimental group was randomly assigned and received a 12 week ISC. Sessions were 90 minutes each and delivered in a group setting. The ISC is focused on improving social skills with an emphasis on those that are used in a job interview. Mock interviews were conducted before and after the ISC for both the experimental and control group.
Participants randomized to the control group did not participate in the ISC but were invited to participate in one at the conclusion of the study.
The experimental group showed larger gains in social pragmatic skills on the final interview than did the control group.
These findings support the effectiveness of a short term social skills program for individuals with ASD.