EXPLORING THE EXPERIENCES OF ADOLESCENT STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER WHEN USING MOBILE APP-BASED DEVICES TO PROMOTE PERFORMANCE OF ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING
Background: The increase in prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has led to a growing number of students requiring additional support needs related to the challenges encountered as a result of their ASD characteristics. One such challenge and area of concern addressed by occupational therapists is the performance of activities of daily living (ADL). Adolescent students are a population for which provision of interventions to address this concern are of great importance, as they are preparing for life beyond school where the support they are given may be reduced. The literature reveals that one way of meeting these needs is by using mobile app-based devices such as iPads, iPhones and iPod touches to deliver video-based interventions (VBI). While such interventions are seen to have promising effects in promoting performance of ADLs the experiences from the adolescent’s perspectives when using these devices are unclear. Aim: This research aims to explore the experiences of adolescent students with ASD when using mobile-app based devices to promote performance of ADLs. Methods: An interpretive phenomenological approach will be adopted to explore the experiences of five adolescent students with ASD when using mobile app-based devices to promote performance of ADLs. This will be achieved using face to face semi-structured interviews, carried out with each adolescent within their school setting. Each adolescent will have the option of having a familiar teacher present within the interview to alleviate possible anxieties. Furthermore, interviews will be individually tailored to each adolescent’s needs with the option of using visual prompts to elicit conversation if required. Expected Outcomes: It is hoped this research will uncover the value and meaning, along with the strengths and challenges of using mobile app-based devices for adolescent students with ASD. This in turn will add to the evidence-base and inform better occupational therapy practice when employing VBI on mobile app-based device to promote performance of ADLs.