Being an active participant in life depends on a lot of things. Individual abilities, finances, and the ability to get to and from life activities that are meaningful, just to name a few. People on the autism spectrum are often are at a disadvantage when it comes to participating fully in the lives they want to have, because they face barriers to community mobility. The number of individuals on the autism spectrum transitioning into adulthood has increased dramatically (CDC, 2012), leaving them responsible for getting themselves to and from social events, jobs, doctors' appointments and other desired activities. Research suggests that individuals with autism spectrum often feel less involved, less satisfied, and participate in fewer activities in their communities (National Organization on Disability, 2000). Access to a greater variety of transportation options that can be used independently would help to increase community participation for adults on the autism spectrum.
Travel training interventions may improve community participation for individuals on the autism spectrum, which can increase quality of life, self-determination, and health outcomes. Ultimately, there are the direct benefits of improving travel skills necessary to independently access community activities such as employment, education, and social participation. It is anticipated that the use of peer-interventionists that model and provide social supports will enhance overall self-efficacy, as well as more specific transportation self-efficacy. Self-efficacy enhances the person’s belief that they can perform a novel or difficult task and cope with adversity (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995).