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Overview of Autistic People and Society

Updated on May 3, 2017

In this discussion, you will present an overview of your final project. Your overview should include a discussion of all the areas of your paper including the literature review, the proposal, and the conclusion. This discussion will provide you with a final informal opportunity to discuss the different aspects of your paper.

In many cases, writing about things informally can help you put ideas into order and work through things that are difficult for you to communicate. As a result, it is a good idea to include as much detail as you can in the discussion so that you can work through all the problems that may come up as you finalize the paper. You should also try to incorporate feedback you have received from completion of the different milestone tasks.

I will be focusing my study on developmental psychology with an emphasis on the effect occupational therapy has on improving skill generalization and sensory integration in people with autism. This topic is important because skill generalization and sensory integration are both necessary in a person becoming an active member of society. For my literature review, I chose six articles on different occupation therapy topics in relation to autistic children.

Literature Review

Baric’s et al., (2016) study examines the occupational transition process of those with autism and ADHD; the study found that there are three effective transitioning paths that work well for those with autism and ADHD. Schaaf et al., (2013) evaluated whether the intervention of occupational therapy was effective in lessening sensory dysfunction in children with autism; the results indicated that the participants who received an extra three hours of sensory integration therapy per week scored higher when attaining their goals. Koenig, Buckley-Reen, and Garg’s (2012) examined the effectiveness of the Get Ready to Learn yoga program on children with autism; they found a decrease in maladaptive behaviors in the autistic children who took part in the program. Holm’s et al., (2014) scrutinized the effect of different doses of therapeutic horseback riding on parent-nominated target behaviors of autistic children; the results indicated a reduction of the targeted behaviors. Janeslätt, Kottorp, and Granlund (2014) evaluated the effect time aids as an intervention strategy on special needs children with time management difficulties; they found that the intervention increased the participants’ ability to handle time management. Llambias, Magill-Evans, Smith, and Warren (2016) investigated the effect of horses in occupational therapy on improving engagement in autistic children; the results found an increased level of engagement in the participants.


My hypothesis states: occupational therapy improves skill generalization and sensory integration in people with autism, which allows them to become an active member of society. I based my hypothesis on the results of the literature that I reviewed. In order to prove my hypothesis I would use an experimental research design because it would provide an experimental group and a control group. This would allow for the measuring of the results from occupational therapy in skill generalization and sensory integration. I would choose 380 research participants in order for the study to have a 5% margin of error and a 95% confidence level as the population of autistic individuals in the United States is about 32,276 according to Elsabbagh et al. (2012). The participants would all be between the ages of 6 and 12, have a confirmed diagnosis of autism from a licensed psychologist based on the results of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (Lord et al. 1994), possess a non-verbal cognitive level greater than 65 (Schaaf Benevides et al. 2012), and have a difficultly with skill generalization and sensory integration.

I would use a randomized trial design in order to create an experimental and control group composed of an equal mix of age groups and genders. The experimental group will receive three weekly one hour-long sessions with an occupational therapist. The control group will continue to receive only their usual level of care with no new treatment additions or alterations during the time of the study. The occupational therapy sessions will continue for one year for those in the experimental group, while those in the control group will not alter their treatment in any way for one year. At the conclusion of each month every participant, in both the experimental and control group, will evaluated by blinded independent evaluators on their skill generalization, sensory integration, communication, social engagement, and task engagement.


The research conducted proves that it is possible to teach autistic children skill generalization and sensory integration and that it is possible for them to eventually transition into college, vocation school, and/or a job in order to become an active member of society.


Baric, V.B., Hemmingsson, H., Hellberg, K. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2016). The

Occupational Transition Process to Upper Secondary School, Further Education and/or Work in Sweden: As Described by Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2986-z

Elsabbagh, M., Divan, G., Koh, Y., Kim, Y. S., Kauchali, S., Marcín, C., . . . Fombonne, E.

(2012). Global Prevalence of Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Autism Research, 5(3), 160-179. doi:10.1002/aur.239

Holm, M. m., Baird, J., Kim, Y., Rajora, K., D'Silva, D., Podolinsky, L., & ... Minshew, N.

(2014). Therapeutic Horseback Riding Outcomes of Parent-Identified Goals for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: An ABA′ Multiple Case Design Examining Dosing and Generalization to the Home and Community. Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 44(4), 937-947.

Janeslätt, G., Kottorp, A., & Granlund, M. (2014). Evaluating intervention using time aids in

children with disabilities. Scandinavian Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 21(3), 181-190. doi:10.3109/11038128.2013.870225

Llambias, C., Magill-Evans, J., Smith, V., & Warren, S. (2016). Equine-Assisted Occupational

Therapy: Increasing Engagement for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 70(6), 1. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.020701

Lord, C., Rutter, M., & Couteur, A. (1994). Autism diagnostic interview-revised: A revised

version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24(5), 659–685.

Koenig, K., Buckley-Reen, A., & Garg, S. (2012). Efficacy of the Get Ready to Learn

Yoga Program Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design. American Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 66(5), 538. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.004390

Schaaf, R. C., Benevides, T., Kelly, D., & Mailloux, Z. (2012). Occupational therapy and

sensory integration for children with autism: A feasibility, safety, acceptability and fidelity study. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice,. doi:10.1177/1362361311435157

Schaaf, R. C., Benevides, T., Mailloux, Z., Faller, P., Hunt, J., Hooydonk, E. V., . . . Kelly, D.

(2013). An Intervention for Sensory Difficulties in Children with Autism: A Randomized Trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(7), 1493-1506. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1983-8


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