• Autism Social Skills Group Proposal

      Thames, Anna
      The topic chosen for the group proposal was social skills group interventions for children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Epp (2008) defines ASDs as “a broad range of disorders characterized by interference with communication and social interactions and circular patterns of interest, activities, and behaviors” (p. 27). Children with ASDs frequently have deficits in the development of social skills and have significantly fewer social interactions with peers than typically developing children (DeRosier, Swick, Davis, McMillen, & Matthews, 2011). In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that one in 110 children is affected by an ASD in the United States. The increased prevalence of autism and the impairments in social functioning that characterized this disorder provide the rationale for this group. Social skills play an important role in an individual’s ability to form social relationships and function effectively in daily life (Epp, 2008). Yalom (2005) stated that “the need to be closely related to others is as basic as any biological need” (p. 21). Children with autism suffer from deficits in their interpersonal and social skills, but also need social bonds just as any typical developing child does. As Yalom (2005) discussed, maladaptive interpersonal skills can be identified and corrected through psychoeducation, role-play, and skills training in group settings. The deficits in interpersonal and social relationships that children with autism experience can be augmented through social skills training in a group setting.