Interventions Addressing Social Impairment in Autism
ABSTRACT Children with an autism spectrum disorder have significant impairment in social skills. This area of development has also been the focus of many intervention studies. In this article we review intervention studies published over the past two years. Three topical areas were addressed in current interventions: social skills knowledge, peer relationships, and joint attention/joint engagement. Younger children most often received interventions on joint attention/joint engagement and older, higher functioning children received interventions on social knowledge and peer relationship development. Both single subject research designs and group designs were reviewed. One advancement was that more randomized controlled trials were reported, as well as effectiveness trials in the community. Study quality was also rated. More group than single subject designs were rated as adequate or strong in quality. Overall, moderate to large effects were found for interventions targeting joint attention/joint engagement and peer relationships with mixed effects on interventions targeting social skills knowledge. Future studies should focus on isolating the active ingredients of interventions and include broader participant representation.
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- "A recent study showed that social interaction style ( SIS ) can be reliably assessed in participants with ASD and average intelli - gence [ Scheeren , Koot , & Begeer , 2012 ] . Children who present with the " classic " passive inter - action style may benefit from interventions that target their motivation to interact with others , a common theme in many interventions aimed at preschool aged children with ASD , including joint attention and joint engagement programs [ Kasari & Patterson , 2012 ] . Chil - dren with active - but - odd interaction styles do not lack the motivation to interact but fail in appropriately adapt - ing their social interactions to the social context . "
ABSTRACT: Limited perspective taking or "Theory of Mind" (ToM) abilities are a core deficit of autism, and many interventions are aimed to improve ToM abilities. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of a ToM treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and, for the first time, the moderating roles of social interaction style (SIS) and disruptive behavior (DB), to determine which children are most likely to respond to this intervention. The trial protocol is registered at www.trialregister.nl, trial number 2327 and published before the data collection was finished (www.trialsjournal.com). Children with autism aged 7-12 years (n = 97) were randomized over a waitlist control or a treatment condition. Outcome measures included ToM and emotion understanding, parent and teacher questionnaires on children's social skills, ToM-related social behavior, and autistic traits. Six-month follow-up parent reported data were collected for the treatment group. The treatment had a positive effect on ToM understanding, parent-reported ToM behavior, and autistic traits, but not on parent or teacher-reported social behavior. Passive SIS was associated with diminished treatment effects on autistic traits, but DB was unrelated to outcomes. The ToM intervention improved conceptual social understanding and ToM-related behavior of children with ASD. However, broader application of learned skills to other domains of functioning was limited. Individual differences with regard to treatment response are discussed. Autism Res 2015. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Autism Research 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/aur.1489 · 4.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although researchers have identified many promising teaching strategies and intervention programs for children with autism spectrum disorder, research on implementation of these interventions in school settings has lagged. Barriers to implementation include incompletely developed interventions, limited evidence of their utility in promoting long-term and meaningful change, and poor fit with school environments. To overcome these barriers, interventions need to be detailed in manuals that identify key components yet allow for flexibility, and studies need to evaluate long-term, real-life outcomes. Innovative research strategies also may be important, particularly carrying out research on new interventions in school settings from the outset, conducting partial effectiveness trials in which study personnel administer interventions in school settings, using community-partnered participatory research approaches, and redesigning interventions in a modular format.Autism 04/2013; 17(3). DOI:10.1177/1362361312470496 · 3.50 Impact Factor
Article: Autism[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Autism is a set of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions, characterised by early-onset difficulties in social communication and unusually restricted, repetitive behaviour and interests. The worldwide population prevalence is about 1%. Autism affects more male than female individuals, and comorbidity is common (>70% have concurrent conditions). Individuals with autism have atypical cognitive profiles, such as impaired social cognition and social perception, executive dysfunction, and atypical perceptual and information processing. These profiles are underpinned by atypical neural development at the systems level. Genetics has a key role in the aetiology of autism, in conjunction with developmentally early environmental factors. Large-effect rare mutations and small-effect common variants contribute to risk. Assessment needs to be multidisciplinary and developmental, and early detection is essential for early intervention. Early comprehensive and targeted behavioural interventions can improve social communication and reduce anxiety and aggression. Drugs can reduce comorbid symptoms, but do not directly improve social communication. Creation of a supportive environment that accepts and respects that the individual is different is crucial.The Lancet 09/2013; 383(9920). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61539-1 · 45.22 Impact Factor