Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 827-842

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A Randomized Controlled Study of Parent-assisted Children’s Friendship Training with Children having Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Fred FrankelAffiliated withUCLA Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human Behavior Email author 
  • , Robert MyattAffiliated withUCLA Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • , Catherine SugarAffiliated withUCLA Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human BehaviorDepartment of Biostatistics, UCLA School of Public Health, Center For Health Sciences
  • , Cynthia WhithamAffiliated withUCLA Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • , Clarissa M. GorospeAffiliated withUCLA Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • , Elizabeth LaugesonAffiliated withUCLA Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Abstract

This study evaluated Children’s Friendship Training (CFT), a manualized parent-assisted intervention to improve social skills among second to fifth grade children with autism spectrum disorders. Comparison was made with a delayed treatment control group (DTC). Targeted skills included conversational skills, peer entry skills, developing friendship networks, good sportsmanship, good host behavior during play dates, and handling teasing. At post-testing, the CFT group was superior to the DTC group on parent measures of social skill and play date behavior, and child measures of popularity and loneliness, At 3-month follow-up, parent measures showed significant improvement from baseline. Post-hoc analysis indicated more than 87% of children receiving CFT showed reliable change on at least one measure at post-test and 66.7% after 3 months follow-up.

keywords

Social skills training Autism Asperger’s disorder