Brief Report: measuring the effectiveness of teaching social thinking to children with Asperger syndrome (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA)

J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 Mar;38(3):581-91. doi: 10.1007/s10803-007-0466-1. Epub 2007 Nov 17.


This is the first report from a large multiple baseline single-subject design study of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This brief report examines effectiveness of teaching a social cognitive (Social Thinking) approach to six males with Asperger syndrome (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA). Data included are restricted to pre- post-treatment comparisons of verbal and non-verbal social behaviors. Structured treatment and semi-structured generalization sessions occurred over eight weeks. Results indicated significant changes from pre- to post- measures on both verbal/nonverbal "expected" and "unexpected" behaviors, significant increases in the subcategories of "expected verbal", "listening/thinking with eyes", and "initiations", and robust decreases in the subcategories of "unexpected-verbal" and "unexpected-nonverbal". Importance of social cognitive approaches for children AS and HFA is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Psychology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Perception*
  • Teaching*
  • Thinking*