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Problem Statement Example Essay


Current Scientific Knowledge
There is no single, scientifically proven cause of autism. Researchers have stated that it could be a result of a genetic disorder, a virus, the outcome of a period of severe illness or post-birth oxygen deprivation (Cernius, 2016 Douglas, Benevides and Carretta, 2017; Baller, Barry, Shea, Walker, Ouellette and Mandell, 2016). The cause is, therefore, unknown, ascribed to various medical conditions because a single, irrefutable decision has not been identified and, due to the said lack of knowledge, it is increasing along the spectrum (Douglas, Benevides and Carretta, 2017).

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Gaps in Knowledge
Current scholarly knowledge maintains that there is no treatment for autism but there exist a set of strategies such as Applied Behavior Analysis (Cernius, 2016) and a coding methodology (Douglas, Benevides and Carretta, 2017) which, upon implementation throughout the autist demographics’ growing years, can render them independent and a member of the workforce. Naturally, this does not apply to those at the extreme end of the spectrum. In fact, there is a dearth in the literature on severe autism (Douglas, Benevides and Carretta, 2017), insufficient funding for this demographic within the autism population (Baller, Barry, Shea, Walker, Ouellette and Mandell, 2016) and insufficient research in the increase of autism to 1 per every 68 child (Douglas, Benevides and Carretta, 2017). The gap in the literature is, therefore multi-faceted and extreme.

Purpose Statement
The gaps are of varying degrees, making prioritization an imperative. At this juncture and in consideration of the rise in autism across the spectrum, logic dictates that the priority is the identification of the cause of autism. This is the overwhelming priority, but scientific resources cannot be injected solely into this problem. The reason is that concomitant with this problem is the research of strategies which might be deployed to help the autistic individual become even more independent and self-sufficient than does the Autism Behavioral Analysis. The facts, as indicated by the scholarly and research literature, are that the effort to increase the autistic individual’s social skills, leading to independence, is still being explored. This is a clear indication that ABA, while very helpful, has fallen short of that goal. The purpose of the study is to determine whether there exists a better and more effective method than ABA to teach the autistic demographic self-sufficiency, social skills and basic work tasks.

Research Question
Research Question 1: “May the primary goal of teaching autistic individuals self-sufficiency and labor and social skills realistic?”

Null Hypothesis 1 (H01): “Across the autism spectrum, this goal is not realistic but can prove highly beneficial for those in the those from the mid-section of the spectrum and below.”
Alternative Hypothesis 1 (HA1): “This is a realistic goal throughout the entirety of the spectrum.”

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Cernius, A. (2016) “No Imbecile at All”: How California Won the autism insurance reform battle, and why its model should be replicated in other states. Harvard Law and Policy Review, 10, 565-596.
Baller, J.B., Barry, D.L., Shea, K., Walker, M.M., Oullette, R. and Mandell, D.S. (2016) Assessing early implementation of state autism insurance mandate. Autism, 20(7), 796-807.
Douglas, M.D., Benevides, T. W. and Carretta, H. (2017) Analyzing state autism private insurance mandates for allied health services: A pilot study. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 37(4), 218-226.

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