By teaching social rules thought to be necessary for social competence, social skills training (SST) curricula aim to improve indicators of well-being for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), such as the attainment of meaningful friendships. However, several recent meta-analyses indicate that SST curricula may fall short of these goals. We offer an explanation for these potentially null effects by illustrating how the content of these curricula diverge from empirical evidence derived from disciplines that take social interaction as their object of study. Next, we argue that employing the social rules advocated for by SST curricula may work counterproductively by inhibiting authenticity, while at the same time increasing stigma associated with ASD. We close with suggestions for future intervention research.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 23, 2017
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