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Deficits in social functioning are one of the hallmark features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet very few evidence-based social skills programs exist for adolescents with ASD and other social challenges. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of one of the only empirically supported social skills programs for youth with ASD: The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS ®). Developed at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, PEERS® utilizes the principles of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to improve social functioning for youth with ASD and other social difficulties. One of the only empirically-supported social skills programs to disseminate published treatment manuals for mental health professionals and educators, the PEERS® approach applies CBT methods of instruction including: didactic lessons (psychoeducation), role-play demonstrations, cognitive strategies, behavioral rehearsal exercises, performance feedback, homework assignments and review, and parent involvement within a small group treatment format. Results from four randomized controlled trials and one quasi-experimental study reveal significant improvements in overt social skills, frequency of peer interactions, and social responsiveness following this treatment protocol.
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- Using a CBT Approach to Teach Social Skills to Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Social Challenges: The PEERS® Method
Elizabeth A. Laugeson
Mi N. Park
- Springer US
Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Print ISSN: 0894-9085
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6563