, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 649-668

A Social Adjustment Enhancement Intervention for High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a 20-week social adjustment enhancement curriculum for boys aged 8–12. The curriculum was designed to address three areas hypothesized to be deficient in persons with HFA, AS, and PDDNOS: emotion recognition and understanding; theory of mind; and executive functions/real life type problem solving. Parents attended a semi-structured concurrent psychoeducational training meeting during children’s sessions. Statistically significant improvements in facial expression recognition, and problem solving were reported for intervention group children compared to waiting list control group children. For the intervention group (the only group for whom data were available), older and less cognitively able boy’s scores on a depression inventory decreased significantly more than younger children’s. Mother’s depression scores tended to decrease and there were significant reductions in child problem behaviors reported. Results are discussed in the context of individual differences in participant cognitive levels and profiles, symptom severity, and affect-related variables.