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05-09-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2021 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2021

Application of Latent Class Analysis to Identify Subgroups of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders who Benefit from Social Skills Training

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 6/2021
Vera Dekker, Maaike H. Nauta, Marieke E. Timmerman, Erik J. Mulder, Pieter J. Hoekstra, Annelies de Bildt
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-020-04678-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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With Latent Class Analysis applied on data of 98 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (9–12 years; 17 girls) participating in social skills training (SST) in a randomized controlled trial (Dekker et al. 2019), four subgroups were detected, based on social-communicative skills before, and response patterns to training. Two subgroups improved after SST. Characterizing the subgroups based on participant and intervention characteristics showed that improvement was related to lower parent-reported perceived difficulty of social-communicative skills at start, higher verbal ability, younger age and milder symptoms of ASD and anxiety. The lowest performing non-improving subgroup participated more often in SST without parent/teacher involvement, compared to all other subgroups. Response to SST in ASD seems to vary depending on participant characteristics.

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