Social Skills Interventions for Children with Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism: A Review and Recommendations
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This paper reviews the literature examining social skills training (SST) programs for youth with AS/HFA, with an emphasis on critically evaluating efficacy and highlighting areas of future research. The review highlights the disparity between SST programs described in the extant literature, including lack of a universal definition of social skills, various levels of intensity and duration of treatment, divergent theoretical backgrounds, and variety in services provided in clinic or classroom settings. Overall, it is clear that, despite their widespread clinical use, empirical support for SST programs for children with AS/HFA is minimal at this time. Based on this critical review, a “roadmap” for future research, consistent with recommendations put forth by a leading group of autism researchers, is presented.