Abstract

There is a paucity of literature on social skills therapy for students on the autism spectrum, revealing an urgent need for additional research. Past research has focused on the use of small groups or single-case study designs. The present study examines the effectiveness of a social skills therapy program for school-age children ages 11 through 18. The program uses art therapy and cognitive-behavioral techniques in a group therapy format to broaden and deepen the state-of-the-art techniques used in helping children with social developmental disorders to improve their social skills. Pre- and posttest instruments were distributed to parents and teachers in October and May of the 2004—2005 school year. Scores revealed a significant improvement in assertion scores, coupled with decreased internalizing behaviors, hyperactivity scores, and problem behavior scores in the students. Implications for social work and policy are discussed.

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