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Social Skills Training with Autism Spectrum Disorders. What has the last fifteen years taught us?. Social Skills Groups for Children with ASD. What Does the Research Say?. Effectiveness of Social Skills Training. Effect sizes range from .20 to .87

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social skills training with autism spectrum disorders
Social Skills Training with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • What has the last fifteen years taught us?
effectiveness of social skills training
Effectiveness of Social Skills Training
  • Effect sizes range from .20 to .87
  • Most effective training programs use some combination of modeling, coaching, and reinforcement procedures.
  • Less evidence is available for the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral procedures (e.g., self-instruction).
  • Lack of evidence for generalization and maintenance is a persistent problem.
effectiveness of social skills training cont
Effectiveness of Social Skills Training (Cont)
  • Apparent positive relationship between frequency and duration of SST and intervention effects.
  • Positive results more likely to occur when intervention strategies are matched to social skills deficits.
  • Competing problem behaviors must be addressed.
our experience
Our Experience
  • Change and generalization occurs over years, not months…need to follow children over time
  • When children participate in social skills groups over the period of years, change can quite dramatic (our own anecdotal evidence).
  • Much of the change that occurs can be conceptualized as “common factor” rather than “model specific” change
what are the common factors that appear to be curative
What are the common factors that appear to be curative
  • Safe environment, free from teasing
  • Homogeneous Grouping !!!-leads to common interests, feeling of acceptance
  • Naturalistic practice of interaction skills
  • Trust and Group Cohesion
  • Formation of lasting friendships
techniques used in our group
Techniques Used in our group
  • Generalization to outside the group environment (Field Trips)
  • Immersion experiences in social interactions
  • Some younger children may need discrete skill training
  • Skill Training with younger children works best in a game format.
  • Skill Training only works beyond the common factors when education and home settings can prompt use of the skill.
use of typical peers
Use of “typical” peers
  • In our setting the use of non-ASD peers are usually those with social phobia, or ADHD type social skill deficits.
  • These peers benefit from feeling like the group leader.
  • Non-ASD peers can provide useful, normalizing feedback to the ASD members.
anecdotal evidence indicates
Anecdotal evidence indicates:
  • group participants show improvement in specific social skills (e.g., listening, starting a conversation)
  • general increases in participants’ self-confidence
  • participant and parent satisfaction with group experience
  • the development of friendships among group members
  • Homogeneous, group-based training provides a safe and structured atmosphere where individuals with ASD can share experiences, avoid teasing from “normal” peers, repeatedly practice interpersonal interaction skills, develop trust and group cohesion, and possibly form new and lasting relationships.
what s new and promising
What’s New and Promising?
  • Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and Social-Communication Problems (Baker, 2003)