Lindy L. Weaver; Effectiveness of Work, Activities of Daily Living, Education, and Sleep Interventions for People With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(5):6905180020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.017962
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. To examine interventions addressing work, activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), education, and sleep for people with autism spectrum disorder.
METHOD. A total of 23 studies were identified, and 9 work-, 11 ADL/IADL-, and 3 education-related interventions were examined. No sleep studies were identified.
RESULTS. Use of mobile and tablet technologies for vocational skills was supported. Support for ADL/IADL intervention is variable, with indications that Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance, sensory integration, and contextual interventions may increase occupational performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that daily yoga and brief exercise may improve classroom performance and behavior; group physical activities may assist with school readiness variables. Evidence for using technologies for IADLs was limited, as was evidence determining effective interventions for feeding and eating issues.
CONCLUSIONS. Studies investigating interventions related to sleep are lacking. More studies are needed in all areas, presenting opportunities for the expansion of science-driven occupational therapy practice and research for people with ASD.
Supported self-management, video prompting, video modeling, and supported employment interventions result in moderate effects on work performance.
Use of mobile and tablet technology to teach vocational tasks is one of the most studied and effective strategies for increasing functional performance and independence in work among people with ASD, and occupational therapy practitioners often provide evaluation, recommendations, and consultation to promote success in using these devices in work and school settings.
CO–OP, an individualized family- and child-centered approach that uses guided problem solving to assist children and youth to acquire, generalize, and transfer skills, is likely an effective intervention for improving ADL and IADL task performance among youth with ASD.
Collaboration and a blend of behavior-based and sensory-based interventions can improve feeding skills and behaviors.
Intensive clinic-based OT–SI can result in more independent ADL performance.
If yoga is used to increase classroom learning and performance, it should be used daily and in a routine format.
Brief physical exercise before academic tasks can help with accuracy but not with attention or stereotypic behaviors.
Individual (vs. group) exercise interventions appear to be more effective in improving motor and social skills (for school readiness) among people with ASD, although few studies of these interventions have been published and more research is needed.
Research on sleep and rest interventions within the scope of occupational therapy is imperative.
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