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Article: Comparisons of Self-determination Among Students with Autism, Intellectual Disability, and Learning Disabilities: A Multivariate Analysis. By Chou and others. In Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 2017 32 (2).

The original point of this article was that self-determination seems to be an important factor in "causally" determining success in individuals with Learning Disabilities and Intellectual Disabilities, but there was no self-determination data for ASD individuals. The authors wanted to correct that, so they surveyed all three groups and made some comparisons.

Not surprisingly, ASD individuals were low on all areas of self-determination measured, including Autonomy, Self-Regulation, Psychological Empowerment, and Self-Realization. I will spare the reader some of the specifics, but perhaps anticipating the results the authors wisely suggest some reasons ASD individuals might score low on measures of self-determination.

Self-determination is heavily influenced by a person's ability to engage in problem-solving (and especially social problem-solving) and goal-setting. Interestingly, my own research suggests these two skills are part of a larger set of skills called Executive Functioning Skills. Interesting! So, low self-determination (an extremely common reason parents want me to work with their adolescent and young adult ASD children; many parents call this "laziness") might actually be an EF skills deficit?

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