A comparison of two group-delivered social skills programs for young children with autism

J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 May;37(5):808-17. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0207-x.


A social skills group intervention was developed and evaluated for young children with autism. Twenty-five 4- to 6-year-old (diagnosed) children were assigned to one of two kinds of social skills groups: the direct teaching group or the play activities group. The direct teaching group used a video-modeling format to teach play and social skills over the course of the intervention, while the play activities group engaged in unstructured play during the sessions. Groups met for 5 weeks, three times per week, 1 h each time. Data were derived and coded from videotapes of pre- and post-treatment unstructured play sessions. Findings indicated that while members of both groups increased prosocial behaviors, the direct teaching group made more gains in social skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Language Disorders / epidemiology
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Program Development*
  • Social Behavior*