, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 2121-2134
Date: 30 Jan 2013

Improving Socialization for High School Students with ASD by Using Their Preferred Interests

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Abstract

There has been a paucity of research on effective social interventions for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in inclusive high school settings. The literature, however, suggests that incorporating the student with ASD’s special interests into activities may help improve their socialization with typical peers. Within the context of a multiple baseline across participants design, we implemented lunchtime activities incorporating the adolescent with ASD’s preferred interests that were similar to ongoing activities already available at the schools. Results showed this increased both level of engagement and their rate of initiations made to typical peers. Social validation measures suggest that both adolescents with ASD and typical peers enjoyed participating in these activities and that the results generalized to other similar activities.

This study was presented at the 30th Annual CalAba. In addition, this study was a featured article in Autism News of Orange County.