Effectiveness of Social Skills Training for children with autism spectrum disorder

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have limitations in social communication and interaction. In clinical practice, social skills training (SST) is applied as treatment to improve these skills. This dissertation describes a study in 122 children with ASD, aged 9-12 years, into the effectiveness of SST directly after the training and on the longer term, and into the effect of involving parents and teachers in the training.
Social skills and cooperation improved more in children who had participated in the training compared to children who had only received regular care. This improvement was modest. Contrary to my expectations, based on what parents reported, I found no differences between children whose parents and teacher were involved in the SST compared to children who were trained without parent and teacher involvement. Teachers reported something different: they reported significantly more improvement in children who participated in the SST with parent and teacher involvement than in children who participated in the SST without this involvement. We found no improvement six months after the training of either form.
Further examination of the group of children who improved after SST showed that this group was younger, verbally stronger, and less anxious. In addition, their parents reported that these children experienced the social communication skills that they learned during the training as less difficult before the start of the training.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Hoekstra, Pieter, Supervisor
  • Nauta, Maaike, Supervisor
  • de Bildt, Annelies, Co-supervisor
Award date17-Dec-2021
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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