Growing up with Autism: Effectiveness of a Residential Farm Community Treatment in a Cohort of Adults with Low Functioning Autism
Objectives: the present follow-up study aimed to evaluate clinical changes in a sample of adults with low functioning autism in a residential farm community setting.
Methods: participants were 24 young adults who had received a clinical diagnosis of low functioning autism by a senior psychiatrist. The Leiter International Performance Scale was used to measure intelligence. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) were used to assess clinical changes in adaptative domains at admission and at follow-up. The VABS is organized within a four domain structure: Communication, Daily Living Skills, Socialization, Motor Skills. Additionally, all subjects were evaluated with the Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Adaptive Behaviour Scale (ABS) and the Diagnostic Assessment for the Severely Handicapped (DASH).
Results: all patients experienced improvement in symptoms and there was a significant increase in all VABS domain (p<0.05).
Conclusions: farm communities may be an ideal option for people with low functioning autism. These settings seems to foster clinical improvement in this patient group.