Functional Living Skills and Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis
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Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Functional living skills are skills needed for being an independent individual in society. As individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get older, the discrepancy between functional living skills of themselves and their peers increases. However, it is not known which type of intervention is more or less effective specifically for adolescent- and adult-aged persons with ASD. This systematic review and meta-analysis analyzed peer-reviewed research concerning functional living skills for individuals with ASD. Using the Tau-U effect size analysis, the following categories were analyzed: participant diagnoses, independent variables, and dependent variables. In addition, to identify statistically significant differences based on categories of the evaluated variables, we conducted the Kruskal-Wallis analysis and a Dunn post-hoc test. A total of 32 single-case studies were included in this analysis. Results indicated that interventions to improve functional living skills with adolescent- and adult-aged persons with ASD had overall strong effects. Moderate to strong effects were noted across categories for diagnosis. Findings indicated strong effects across categories for dependent and independent variables. Limitations and implications for practice and future research were discussed.