functioning between individuals with autism and schizophrenia combined with the

Functioning between individuals with autism and

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functioning between individuals with autism and schizophrenia, combined with the success of the SCIT for use with individuals with schizophrenia, suggest that SCIT may be a valuable tool to treat social-cognitive deficits in high-functioning adults with autism. The goal of this study was to examine the feasibility of a version of SCIT modified for individuals with autism (coined “SCIT-A”) for adults with HFA, and to investigate its impact on social-cognition and social functioning relative to treatment as usual (TAU). We hypothesized that individuals who received SCIT-A would show greater improvements in social cognition and social functioning relative to individuals who received TAU. Method Participants Adults with HFA were recruited from Division TEACCH, a state agency that provides services for individuals with autism in North Carolina (n = 12), and psychologists in the community (n = 1). Eligibility requirements included: (1) 18 - 55 years old; (2) clinical diagnosis and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS; Lord et al., 2000) classification of an autism spectrum disorder; and (3) Full Scale IQ in the average range, as measured by the Weschler Abbreviated Scales of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999). Of the 13 adult participants, eleven completed all study procedures and thus were included in analyses. The other two did not return for follow-up
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SCIT-A 6 evaluations (one participant moved out of the country and one could not be reached for scheduling). [place Table 1 about here] The final sample comprised six adults with HFA who received SCIT-A and five IQ- matched adults with HFA who did not receive SCIT-A (see table 1 for participant characteristics). Group assignments were initially determined randomly. However, two individuals assigned to the treatment condition opted not to participate in SCIT. One participant had conflicts with his job and the other changed his mind. Due to the small sample size of this pilot study, these participants were reassigned to the control condition. Therefore, this study is not a true randomized controlled design, but should be considered a quasi-experimental design. Participants in both groups continued to receive other treatments. These data were available for 4/6 participants in the SCIT-A group (data are unavailable from one participant, and one participant declined to report this information). All were receiving a combination of job skills coaching, medication management, and/or individual therapy. Participants in the TAU group continued to receive other interventions (e.g., individual therapy, job skills coaching) during the SCIT-A trial. No participants in either group were participating in other group-based interventions concurrently with their participation in this study. Eight of the 11 participants met criteria for autism and three met criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on the ADOS (Lord et al., 2000). The three who met criteria for ASD were in the treatment group. Whereas there were no significant differences between groups on IQ or gender, the SCIT-A group was significantly older
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  • Spring '14
  • HFA, David L. Penn

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