Kean Quest


Social skills in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been targeted in a number of ways including the use of various software programs. This pilot study compared one simulation-based program to traditional therapy as a means to teach social skills to children with ASD. Participants included 8 males, ages 6 years to 13 years old with a diagnosis of ASD. Participants engaged in the simulation-based program (intervention group) or traditional speech therapy (control group) for a six-week period. The Pragmatic Language Skills Inventory (PLSI) was administered before and at the conclusion of the program to measure changes in social skills for both groups. Results indicated a significant group by time interaction. For Classroom Interaction and Personal Interaction items, those in the intervention group performed significantly higher post-test than those in the control group. The findings from this pilot study indicate that a computer-based program may prove beneficial for targeting social skills in the ASD population. Future research could include further examination of social skills programming by comparing traditional speech therapy methods and computer-based social skills programs with a larger participant pool.