498

Summary of Systematic Review

Social Skills Interventions for Individuals with Autism: Evaluation for Evidence-based Practices within a Best Evidence Synthesis Framework
Reichow, B., & Volkmar, F. R. (2010).
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 149-166.

This review meets the criteria for a high-quality evidence-based systematic review.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review states a clearly focused question or aim No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

Description:
This is a review of experimental and quasi-experimental studies investigating social skills interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:
Question not specifically stated.

Population:
Adults and children with autism spectrum disorder.

Intervention/Assessment:
Social skills interventions.

Number of Studies Included:
66

Years Included:
2001 to 2008

Conclusions:

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Treatment

    • Cognition/Language

      • General Findings 

        • “While there is enough evidence supporting the recommendation of naturalistic techniques for young children with autism, the evidence of older individuals is insufficient to make recommendations” (p. 159). 

        • Interventions incorporating visual supports (e.g., Social Stories, scripts, visual activity schedules) had “positive findings, suggesting they can be an effective method for enhancing social understanding and structuring social interactions or communication for preschool and school-aged children with autism” (p. 161). 

      • ABA/Discrete Trial/LOVAAS 

        • For social skills outcomes “…there is much support for the use of interventions based on ABA, and the use of these techniques should continue to be used in practice” (p. 159). 

      • Parent-Mediated/Implemented 

        • “The accumulating evidence with young children for the support of parent training permits the recommendation of parent training as an effective method for increasing social skills of young children. However, the scarcity of research involving older participants does not permit the same” (pp. 159-160). 

      • Social Skills Groups 

        • “Social skills groups for school-aged children with ASD demonstrated the evidence necessary to be considered an established” evidence-based practice (Evidence-Based Practice Statement) (p. 161). 

      • Video-Modeling 

        • “…[V]ideo modeling appears to typically be an effective intervention for teaching social skills to children with autism.” Additionally, video modeling “amassed the necessary criteria to be considered a promising” evidence-based practice (Evidence-Based Practice Statement) (p. 161).


Social Communication Disorders

  • Treatment

    • Cognition/Language

      • Aided AAC: Visual Supports/Activity Schedules 

        • Interventions incorporating visual supports (e.g., Social Stories, scripts, visual activity schedules) had “positive findings, suggesting they can be an effective method for enhancing social understanding and structuring social interactions or communication for preschool and school-aged children with autism” (p. 161). 

      • Behavioral Interventions/Techniques 

        • For social skills outcomes “…there is much support for the use of interventions based on ABA, and the use of these techniques should continue to be used in practice” (p. 159). 

        • “While there is enough evidence supporting the recommendation of naturalistic techniques for young children with autism, the evidence of older individuals is insufficient to make recommendations” (p. 159). 

      • Parent-Mediated/Implemented 

        • “The accumulating evidence with young children for the support of parent training permits the recommendation of parent training as an effective method for increasing social skills of young children. However, the scarcity of research involving older participants does not permit the same” (pp. 159-160). 

      • Pragmatics/Social Skills Treatments

        • Social Scripts - Interventions incorporating visual supports (e.g., Social Stories, scripts, visual activity schedules) had “positive findings, suggesting they can be an effective method for enhancing social understanding and structuring social interactions or communication for preschool and school-aged children with autism” (p. 161). 

        • Social Skills Groups - “Social skills groups for school-aged children with ASD demonstrated the evidence necessary to be considered an established” evidence-based practice (Evidence-Based Practice Statement) (p. 161). 

        • Social Stories - Interventions incorporating visual supports (e.g., Social Stories, scripts, visual activity schedules) had “positive findings, suggesting they can be an effective method for enhancing social understanding and structuring social interactions or communication for preschool and school-aged children with autism” (p. 161). 

      • Video-Based Instruction 

        • “Video modeling appears to typically be an effective intervention for teaching social skills to children with autism” (p. 161). Additionally, video modeling “amassed the necessary criteria to be considered a promising” evidence-based practice (Evidence-Based Practice Statement) (p. 161). 

Sponsoring Body:
Not stated.

Keywords:
Social Skills, Autism Spectrum Disorders

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