An Evaluation of a Behaviorally Based Social Skills Group for Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Feb;47(2):243-259. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2949-4.


In this study we evaluated a social skills group which employed a progressive applied behavior analysis model for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A randomized control trial was utilized; eight participants were randomly assigned to a treatment group and seven participants were randomly assigned to a waitlist control group. The social skills group consisted of 32, 2 h sessions. Teachers implemented a variety of behaviorally based procedures. A blind evaluator measured participants' behavior immediately prior to intervention, immediately following intervention, and during 16 and 32-week maintenance probes. Results of the study demonstrated that participants made significant improvements with their social behavior (p < .001) following intervention, and the results were maintained up to 32 weeks after intervention had concluded.

Keywords: Applied behavior analysis; Autism; Progressive ABA; Social skills; Social skills groups.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Social Skills*