Training social problem solving skills in adolescents with high-functioning autism
ABSTRACT Adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASD) have very different needs and abilities. Deficits in social skills and executive function, however, are generally considered defining characteristics of HFASD. Deficits in socialization often interfere with these individual's educational experience and quality of life, and explicit instruction is required to help them acquire age-appropriate social skills. We describe an approach to social skills training for adolescents and young adults with HFASD. Our design allows the user to role-play through social scenarios - such as going to the movie theatre - in a way that we believe may lead toward generalization. We also present the findings of an exploratory study in which 8 young adults with HFASD interacted with a prototype system. These findings showed that participants with HFASD respond favorably to the software, and that, in the future it will be important to integrate all aspects of a complete interventions into the software.
Article: 'Autistic psychopathy' in childhood.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: describe a particularly interesting and highly recognisable type of child / the children I will present all have in common a fundamental disturbance which manifests itself in their physical appearance, expressive functions and, indeed, their whole behaviour / this disturbance results in severe characteristic difficulties of social integration / I have chosen the label autism the clinical picture of autistic psychopathy / physical appearance and expressive characteristics / autistic intelligence / behaviour in the social group / drive and affect in the autist / genetic and biological factors / the social value of the autistic psychopath (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)10/1991;
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ABSTRACT: The question of whether Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism should be considered as the same or different conditions has been a source of debate and controversy over recent years. In the present study, 34 adults with autism who had shown early delays in language were compared with 42 individuals who were reported to have had no such delays, either in their use of words or phrases. All participants were at least 18 years of age, had a nonverbal IQ of 70 or above and met ADI-R criteria for age of onset, communication and social impairments, and stereotyped behaviors. Those in the language delay group were diagnosed as having high-functioning autism. The remainder were designated as having Asperger syndrome. The groups were matched for age, nonverbal IQ and gender. No significant differences were found between the groups either in their total ADI-R algorithm scores, or in their algorithm scores on individual domains. Social outcome ratings and ADI-R scores based on current functioning also failed to differentiate between the groups. Scores on tests of language comprehension and expression were also similar, but in both groups language abilities were well below chronological age level. The implications of these results with respect to the differences between Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism are discussed. The poor performance on language tests also challenges the assumption that early language development in Asperger syndrome is essentially normal.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 03/2003; 33(1):3-13. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The potential of virtual environments for teaching people with autism has been positively promoted in recent years. The present study aimed to systematically investigate this potential with 12 participants with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs), each individually matched with comparison participants according to either verbal IQ or performance IQ, as well as gender and chronological age. Participants practised using a desktop 'training' virtual environment, before completing a number of tasks in a virtual café. We examined time spent completing tasks, errors made, basic understanding of the representational quality of virtual environments and the social appropriateness of performance. The use of the environments by the participants with ASDs was on a par with their PIQ-matched counterparts, and the majority of the group seemed to have a basic understanding of the virtual environment as a representation of reality. However, some participants in the ASD group were significantly more likely to be judged as bumping into, or walking between, other people in the virtual scene, compared to their paired matches. This tendency could not be explained by executive dysfunction or a general motor difficulty. This might be a sign that understanding personal space is impaired in autism. Virtual environments might offer a useful tool for social skills training, and this would be a valuable topic for future research.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 09/2004; 34(4):449-66. · 3.34 Impact Factor