Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with long-lasting neurocognitive dysfunctions in addition to impaired socio-communication and restricted, repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behavior, interests, and activities (APA 2013). Long-term follow-up studies show that the developmental outcomes of autistic individuals are highly variable, even for individuals at the more intellectually able end of the autism spectrum. While some individuals go on to live independently and obtain qualifications, the majority fail to achieve independence, to attain full-time employment, or to enjoy friendships.
The concept of ‘executive function’ refers to the higher order control processes necessary to guide behaviour in a constantly changing environment. The concept includes abilities such as planning, working memory, mental flexibility, response initiation, response inhibition, impulse control and monitoring of action.
The aim of this study was to elaborate an individualized intervention program for children with ASD to develop the executive functions (working memory, selective attention, planning, organizing and inhibition of response). Measures of EF were administered to a sample of 5 pre-schoolers (1 girl and 4 boys with 6–7 years old).
The results show that, the individualized intervention program in this study has a semnificative influence to develop the executive functions [H(2)=10,61; p<0,01 (p=0,005) for working memory; H(2)=11,05; p<0,01 (p=0,004) for attention; H(2)=11,88; p<0,01 (p=0,003) for planification; H(2)= 10,9; p<0,01 (p=0,004) for organization and H(2)=10,4; p<0,01 (p=0,005) for inhibition of response].
Published Date: 2019-11-20; Received Date: 2019-10-21