Journal of Autism

Journal of Autism

ISSN 2054-992X

The Ingredients of Effective Social Skills Programming for Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A Synthesis of Meta-Analytical Research

Scott Bellini1* and Olivia Heck2

*Correspondence: Scott Bellini

1. Associate Professor, School Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 201 N. Rose Ave. Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.

Author Affiliations

2. Graduate Student, School Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 201 N. Rose Ave. Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Difficulties with social skills and developing social relationships is a key diagnostic characteristic of autism spectrum disorders, and is often an enduring and pervasive issue throughout the life of a person on the autism spectrum. Previous research has demonstrated a clear link between social skill deficits and numerous negative developmental outcomes. The development of effective social interaction skills is critical to successful social, emotional, language, and cognitive development, yet research on social skills programming has produced conflicting results related to the effectiveness of many social skill interventions. The purpose of this article is to synthesize the results of both literature reviews and metaanalytical studies on social skills programing for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. The primary purpose of the article is to elucidate the ingredients of effective social skills programming for children on the autism spectrum. This article will review the existing meta-analytical research relevant to social skills programming and provide recommended practices for youth on the autism spectrum. The article will also provide suggestions for future researchers to consider when designing studies on social skills programming. The present article will provide useful guidance to both practitioners and researchers.

Keywords: Autism, social skills, intervention

ISSN 2054-992X
Volume 6
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