Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 417–430 | Cite as

iSocial: Delivering the Social Competence Intervention for Adolescents (SCI-A) in a 3D Virtual Learning Environment for Youth with High Functioning Autism

  • Janine P. Stichter
  • James Laffey
  • Krista Galyen
  • Melissa Herzog
Original Paper


One consistent area of need for students with autism spectrum disorders is in the area of social competence. However, the increasing need to provide qualified teachers to deliver evidence-based practices in areas like social competence leave schools, such as those found in rural areas, in need of support. Distance education and in particular, 3D Virtual Learning, holds great promise for supporting schools and youth to gain social competence through knowledge and social practice in context. iSocial, a distance education, 3D virtual learning environment implemented the 31-lesson social competence intervention for adolescents across three small cohorts totaling 11 students over a period of 4 months. Results demonstrated that the social competence curriculum was delivered with fidelity in the 3D virtual learning environment. Moreover, learning outcomes suggest that the iSocial approach shows promise for social competence benefits for youth.


3D virtual learning environments High functioning autism Social competence Distance education 



This work was funded in part by the Institute of Educational Sciences (R324A090197).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janine P. Stichter
    • 1
  • James Laffey
    • 1
  • Krista Galyen
    • 1
  • Melissa Herzog
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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