Social Skills Training for Students with Autism: A Review of Literature

By Shari Coplin

Some students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be characterized as displaying behavioral challenges and have difficulties with communication and social skills in the inclusion classroom setting (Majoko, 2016). These students struggle when faced with new routines, new individuals and social events, peer to peer interactions and daily activities that their non-disabled peers complete with ease (Fitzpatrick, Srivorakiat, Wink, Pedapati, & Erickson, 2016). ASD is a neurological development disorder that affects an individual’s ability to effectively communicate and socialize with peers (Jagan, & Sathiyaseelan, 2016). However, studies and research have shown that individuals diagnosed and treated at an early age have greater success with communication skills later in life (Jagan, & Sathiyaseelan, 2016). Early intervention includes exposing students to social situations, body language, verbal and non-verbal language, at home, in school, throughout the community and in the clinical settings. These are areas many individuals with autism struggle with on a daily basis (Jagan & Sathiyaseelan, 2016). Studies in autism have shown males are more likely to be diagnosed with autism than females. Males with autism have the same developmental sensors in their brains as females with autism, however the receptive parts of the male brain that reacts to decision making, differs from males to females (Hall et al., 2012). This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Ms. Shari Coplin and will cover the topic of social skills training for students with autism.

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