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