Social and clinical effects of a leisure program on adults with autism spectrum disorder

Domingo Garcia-Villamisar, John Dattilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Using a pre-test, post-test experimental design, effects of a 1-year group leisure program were examined on 31 participants (20 male and 11 female), ages 27-38 (M = 32.05 at start of program), with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis randomly assigned to the experimental condition and a group of 20 adults with ASD randomly assigned to the control group (13 male and 7 female), ages 24-38 (M = 31.75, at the program start). The Facial Discrimination Battery (FDB)-Spanish version and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-Interview Edition Survey Form (VABS) were used to measure social-emotional cognition and the Color Trails Test (CTT) and the Tower of London-Drexel Edition were used to measure executive functioning cognitive. In consideration of the ecological perspective, the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX) and the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe), were used. Mean scores for the experimental group were higher after completing the program than during baseline and compared to the control group across all social and emotional scales. Although statistical significance of results of the socio-emotional indicators and executive function was mixed, the VABS composite that focuses on social behavior of people with ASD was significant and demonstrated the largest difference between performance at baseline and performance after the 12-month intervention. Implications for future leisure service delivery are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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