Social-skills treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders: an overview

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Marked advances in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has occurred in the past few decades, primarily using applied behavior analysis. However, reviews of trends in social skills treatment for children with ASDs have been scant, despite a robust and growing empirical literature on the topic. In this selective review of 79 treatment studies, the authors note that the research has been particularly marked by fragmented development, using a range of intervention approaches and definitions of the construct. Modeling and reinforcement treatments have been the most popular model from the outset, with most studies conducted in school settings by teachers or psychologists. Investigators have been particularly attentive to issues of generalization and follow-up. However, large-scale group studies and comparisons of different training strategies are almost nonexistent. These trends and their implications for future research aimed at filling gaps in the existing literature are discussed.

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Behavior modification

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