Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 1777–1784 | Cite as

Brief Report: Feasibility of Social Cognition and Interaction Training for Adults with High Functioning Autism

  • Lauren M. Turner-BrownEmail author
  • Timothy D. Perry
  • Gabriel S. Dichter
  • James W. Bodfish
  • David L. Penn
Brief Report


The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and utility of a group-based cognitive behavioral intervention to improve social-cognitive functioning in adults with high-functioning autism (HFA). We modified the treatment manual of a previously validated intervention, Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT), for optimal use with HFA adults (SCIT-A). We then conducted a pilot study to compare SCIT-A (n = 6) to treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 5) for adults with HFA. Feasibility was supported; attendance was high (92%) and satisfaction reports were primarily positive. Participants in SCIT-A showed significant improvement in theory-of-mind skills and trend level improvements in social communication skills; TAU participants did not show these improvements. Findings indicate SCIT-A shows promise as an intervention for adults with HFA.


Social cognition Adults Group intervention High functioning autism 



We are grateful to the adults who generously participated in this study and would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of Tia Holtzclaw to the project. This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (T32-HD40127and R01MH-73402), the Foundation of Hope (NC), and by North Carolina Division TEACCH. G. Dichter was supported by a career development award from UNC-Chapel Hill, NIH/NCRR K12 RR023248 (Orringer).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren M. Turner-Brown
    • 1
    Email author
  • Timothy D. Perry
    • 2
  • Gabriel S. Dichter
    • 3
    • 4
  • James W. Bodfish
    • 3
  • David L. Penn
    • 2
  1. 1.Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis CenterDurhamUSA

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