Brief Report

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 1777-1784

First online:

Brief Report: Feasibility of Social Cognition and Interaction Training for Adults with High Functioning Autism

  • Lauren M. Turner-BrownAffiliated withNeurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Timothy D. PerryAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Gabriel S. DichterAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center
  • , James W. BodfishAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • , David L. PennAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and utility of a group-based cognitive behavioral intervention to improve social-cognitive functioning in adults with high-functioning autism (HFA). We modified the treatment manual of a previously validated intervention, Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT), for optimal use with HFA adults (SCIT-A). We then conducted a pilot study to compare SCIT-A (n = 6) to treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 5) for adults with HFA. Feasibility was supported; attendance was high (92%) and satisfaction reports were primarily positive. Participants in SCIT-A showed significant improvement in theory-of-mind skills and trend level improvements in social communication skills; TAU participants did not show these improvements. Findings indicate SCIT-A shows promise as an intervention for adults with HFA.

Keywords

Social cognition Adults Group intervention High functioning autism