Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1025–1036 | Cite as

Evidence-Based Social Skills Training for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The UCLA PEERS Program

  • Elizabeth A. Laugeson
  • Fred Frankel
  • Alexander Gantman
  • Ashley R. Dillon
  • Catherine Mogil
Original Paper

Abstract

The present study examines the efficacy and durability of the PEERS Program, a parent-assisted social skills group intervention for high-functioning adolescents with ASD. Results indicate that teens receiving PEERS significantly improved their social skills knowledge, social responsiveness, and overall social skills in the areas of social communication, social cognition, social awareness, social motivation, assertion, cooperation, and responsibility, while decreasing autistic mannerisms and increasing the frequency of peer interactions. Independent teacher ratings revealed significant improvement in social skills and assertion from pre-test to follow-up assessment. Examination of durability of improvement revealed maintenance of gains in nearly all domains with additional treatment gains at a 14-week follow-up assessment.

Keywords

Social skills Autism Asperger’s Disorder PEERS Friendship Adolescents 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Attwood, T. (2000). Strategies for improving the social integration of children with Asperger syndrome. Autism, 4(1), 85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Attwood, T. (2003). Frameworks for behavioral interventions. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, 65–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnhill, G. P. (2002). The effectiveness of social skills intervention targeting nonverbal communication for adolescents with Asperger syndrome and related pervasive developmental delays. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 17(2), 112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baron-Cohen, S. (1995). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A., & Frith, U. (1985). Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind”? Cognition, 21, 37–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bauminger, N., & Kasari, C. (2000). Loneliness and friendship in high-functioning children with autism. Child Development, 71, 447–456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baxter, A. (1997). The power of friendship. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 5(2), 112–117.Google Scholar
  9. Bock, M. A. (2001). SODA strategy. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36(5), 272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buhrmester, D. (1990). Intimacy of friendship, interpersonal competence, and adjustment during preadolescence and adolescence. Child Development, 61, 1101–1111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Capps, L., Sigman, M., & Yirmiya, N. (1996). Self-competence and emotional understanding in high-functioning children with autism. Annual Progress in Child Psychiatry & Child Development, 7, 260–279.Google Scholar
  12. Church, C., Alisanski, S., & Amanullah, S. (2000). The social, behavioral, and academic experiences of children with Asperger syndrome. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 15, 12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Constantino, J. N. (2005). Social responsiveness scale. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  14. Croen, L. A., Grether, J. K., Hoogstrate, J., & Selvin, S. (2002). The changing prevalence of autism in California. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 207–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Elder, L. M., Caterino, L. C., Chao, J., Shacknai, D., & DeSimone, G. (2006). The efficacy of social skills treatment for children with Asperger syndrome. Education & Treatment of Children, 29(4), 635–663.Google Scholar
  16. Frankel, F., & Mintz, J. (in press). Maternal reports of play dates of clinic referred and community children. Journal of Child & Family Studies.Google Scholar
  17. Frankel, F., & Myatt, R. (2003). Children’s friendship training. New York: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Frankel, F., & Myatt, R. (2007). Parent-assisted friendship training for children with autism spectrum disorders: Effects associated with psychotropic medication. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 37, 337–346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Frankel, F., Myatt, R., Cantwell, D. P., & Feinberg, D. T. (1997). Parent assisted children’s social skills training: Effects on children with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1056–1064.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Frankel, F., Myatt, R., Whitham, C., Gorospe, C., & Laugeson, E. A. (2010). A controlled study of parent-assisted children’s friendship training with children having autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 827–842.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frith, C. D. (2004). Schizophrenia and theory of mind. Psychological Medicine, 34, 385–389.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gralinski, J. H., & Kopp, C. (1993). Everyday rules for behavior: Mother’s requests to young children. Developmental Psychology, 29, 573–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gresham, F. M., & Elliott, S. (1990). The social skills rating system. Minnesota: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  24. Gresham, F. M., Sugai, G., & Horner, R. H. (2001). Interpreting outcomes of social skills training for students with high-incidence disabilities. Exceptional Children, 67(3), 331–344.Google Scholar
  25. Griffin, H. C., Griffin, L. W., Fitch, C. W., Albera, V., & Gingras, H. G. (2006). Educational interventions for individuals with Asperger Syndrome. Intervention in School and Clinic, 41, 150–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hanley, G. P., Iwata, B. A., & Thompson, R. H. (2001). Reinforcement schedule thinning following treatment with functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 17–38.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kaufman, A. S., & Kaufman, N. L. (2005). Kaufman brief intelligence test (2nd ed.). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  28. Kerbal, D., & Grunwell, P. (1998). A study of idiom comprehension in children with semantic-pragmatic difficulties. Part II: Between group results and discussion. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 33(1), 23–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Klin, A., & Volkmar, F. R. (2003). Asperger syndrome: Diagnosis and external validity. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12(1), 1–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Klin, A., Volkmar, F. R., & Sparrow, S. S. (2000). Asperger syndrome. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Krasny, L., Williams, B. J., Provencal, S., & Ozonoff, S. (2003). Social skills interventions for the autism spectrum: Essential ingredients and a model curriculum. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12(1), 107–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laugeson, E. A., & Frankel, F. (2010). Social skills for teenagers with developmental and autism spectrum disorders: The PEERS treatment manual. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Laugeson, E. A., & Frankel, F. (unpublished). Test of adolescent social skills knowledgerevised. (Available from UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, 300 Medical Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA).Google Scholar
  34. Laugeson, E. A., Frankel, F., Mogil, C., & Dillon, A. R. (2009). Parent-assisted social skills training to improve friendships in teens with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 596–606.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Laushey, K. M., & Heflin, L. J. (2000). Enhancing social skills of kindergarten children with autism through the training of multiple peers as tutors. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 183–193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Le Couteur, A., Lord, C., & Rutter, M. (2003). The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  37. Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P. D., & Risi, S. (2001). Autism diagnostic observation schedule. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  38. Lovaas, O. I. (1987). Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 3–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Marriage, K. J., Gordon, V., & Brand, L. (1995). A social skills group for boys with Asperger’s syndrome. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 29, 58–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mesibov, G. B. (1984). Social skills training with verbal autistic adolescents and adults: A program model. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 14, 395–404.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller, P. M., & Ingham, J. G. (1976). Friends, confidants, and symptoms. Social Psychiatry, 11, 51–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. O’Connor, M. J., Frankel, F., Paley, B., Schonfeld, A. M., Carpenter, E., Laugeson, E., et al. (2006). A controlled social skills training for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 639–648.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Orsmond, G. I., Krauss, M. W., & Seltzer, M. M. (2004). Peer relationships and social and recreational activities among adolescents and adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 245–256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Provencal, S. L. (2003). The efficacy of a social skills training program for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Utah.Google Scholar
  45. Rubin, Z., & Sloman, J. (1984). In M. Lewis (Ed.), Beyond the dyad (pp. 223–250). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  46. Schopler, E., Mesibov, G. B., & Kunce, L. J. (1998). Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism?. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shtayermman, O. (2007). Peer victimization in adolescents and young adults diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome: A link to depressive symptomatolgy and suicidal ideation. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 30(3), 87–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Solomon, M., Goodlin-Jones, B., & Anders, T. F. (2004). A social adjustment enhancement intervention for high-functioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder NOS. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disabilities, 34(6), 649–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sparrow, S., Balla, D., & Cicchetti, D. V. (2005). The Vineland adaptive behavior scales (2nd ed.). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  50. Starr, E., Szatmari, P., Bryson, S., & Zwaigenbaum, L. (2003). Stability and change among high-functioning children with pervasive developmental disorders: A 2-year outcome study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 33(1), 15–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tantam, D. (2003). The challenge of adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, 143–163.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Travis, L., & Sigman, M. (1998). Social deficits and interpersonal relationships in autism. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 4, 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Webb, B. J., Miller, S. P., Pierce, T. B., Strawser, S., & Jones, P. (2004). Effects of social skill instruction for high-functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 19(1), 53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler intelligence test for children (4th ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  55. Weiss, M. J., & Harris, S. L. (2001). Teaching social skills to people with autism. Behavior Modification, 25(5), 785–802.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Williams, S. K., Johnson, C., & Sukhodolsky, D. G. (2005). The role of the school psychologist in the inclusive education of school-age children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 117–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williams-White, S., Koenig, K., & Scahill, L. (2007). Social skills development in children with autism spectrum disorders: A review of the intervention research. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disabilities, 37, 1858–1868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Winter, M. (2003). Asperger syndrome: What teachers need to know. New York: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  59. Wolfberg, P. J., & Schuler, A. L. (1993). Integrated play groups: A model for promoting the social and cognitive dimensions of play in children with autism. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disabilities, 23, 467–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wood, J. J., Drahota, A., Sze, K., Van Dyke, M., Decker, K., Fujii, C., et al. (2009). Effects of cognitive behavioral therapy on parent-reported autism symptoms in school-aged children with high-functioning autism. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disabilities, 39, 1608–1612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Laugeson
    • 1
  • Fred Frankel
    • 2
  • Alexander Gantman
    • 3
  • Ashley R. Dillon
    • 3
    • 4
  • Catherine Mogil
    • 3
  1. 1.Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Pacific Graduate School of PsychologyPalo AltoUSA

Personalised recommendations