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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Social Skills Interventions for Children with Asperger's Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism: A Review and Recommendations

Rao, P. A., Beidel, D. C., et al. (2008).
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(2), 353-361.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question 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

Description: This is a review examining the literature on social skills training programs (SST) for children and adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) or high functioning autism (HFA).

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Children and adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism.

Intervention/Assessment: Social skills training programs.

Number of Studies Included: 10

Years Included: Not stated



  • Treatment
    • Cognition-Language
      • Pragmatics/Social Skills
        • Out of the 10 studies reviewed, seven (70%) reported positive treatment effects and three of the 10 studies (30%) reported no treatment efficacy.
        • "…[D]espite its widespread clinical use, empirical support for social skills training programs for children with AS/HFA is in its infancy” (p. 359). Specific efficacy of these programs “has yet to be firmly established” (p. 359).

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Social Skills

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Added to Compendium: March 2012

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