Interventions Addressing Social Impairment in Autism

Center for Autism Research and Treatment, 68-268 Semel Institute UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90024, USA, .
Current Psychiatry Reports (Impact Factor: 3.24). 10/2012; 14(6). DOI: 10.1007/s11920-012-0317-4
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Minority groups. Two recent reviews of interventions for children with ASD or other neurodevelopmental disabilities (Kasari & Patterson, 2012; Norbury & Sparks, 2013) highlight the many biases in such studies, particularly biases of language, "

    Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 07/2015; 40(4):1-6. DOI:10.3109/13668250.2015.1064343 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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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 . "
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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
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