Rationale for Meaningful Versus Nonmeaningful Activites

Continuous participation in nonmeaningful activities decreases quality of life and may constitute life-wasting

Nonmeaningful activities have little impact on helping individuals function more independently

Constantly expecting adults with autism to engage in nonmeaningful activities increases the likelihood of challenging behavior Common strategies for treating challenging behavior may be less effective in settings where individuals are engaged in nonmeaningful activities A growing number of funding agencies are demanding more meaningful and community-integrated activities for adults with autism as a requirement for financial support

The third objective of meeting with executive staff is to ask for their active support for the process and outcomes of changing to more meaningful activities. It is helpful to explain that executive support can be demonstrated by their attendance at meetings with front-line supervisors to begin the process, periodically reviewing progress data regarding participant involvement in meaningful tasks (or lack thereof), and presenting feedback to front-line supervisors regarding observed progress. The intent is for the clinician to obtain assurance that the agency executives will support the actions taken with staff to provide more meaningful services for agency consumers.

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