Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1858–1868 | Cite as

Social Skills Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Intervention Research

  • Susan Williams WhiteEmail author
  • Kathleen Keonig
  • Lawrence Scahill
Original Paper


Social reciprocity deficits are a core feature of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This review summarizes the state of research in group-based social skills training programs for school-age children and adolescents with ASD. All published studies of group social skills interventions between 1985 and 2006 were reviewed, as well as dissertations examining group-based social skills intervention programs. To assess the state of the science, a template developed by an NIMH work group was applied to 14 identified studies. Based on this review, the empirical support for this approach is incomplete, but promising intervention strategies were identified. Recommendations for the design of future treatment trials to guide clinical practice are offered.


Autism Asperger’s Disorder Social skills training 



The authors acknowledge support from the following grants: National Institutes of Mental Health Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders Training Grant at the Yale University Child Study Center [T32 #MH18268; PI: James F. Leckman, MD]; Organization for Autism Research [PI: Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Williams White
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathleen Keonig
    • 3
  • Lawrence Scahill
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Medicine, Virginia Treatment Center for ChildrenVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Child Study Center and School of NursingYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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