Current study is the second part of a 2-year cognitive-behavioral- ecological (CB-E) intervention for high-functioning (HF) children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We examined the utility of a group-centered intervention on children's ability to interact cooperatively with peers during structured and non-structured social situations. Direct (e.g., social problem solving) and indirect (theory of mind; executive function) treatment effects on social cognitive capabilities were also examined. Participants were 26 preadolescent HF children with ASD. Study results demonstrated direct and indirect treatment effects on social cognition and mixed results regarding children's social interaction capabilities. Although children's cooperative capabilities within the intervention group improved, dyadic, and group social interactions during school recess did not. Discussion focused on the utility of such group-intervention in increasing social functioning.
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Acknowledgments This research was supported by a grant from the Israel Foundation Trustees. Special thanks are extended to Chani Kfir for coordinating the project, to Hadar Dadush for her cooperation in the development of the group program, to Efrat Orbach-Kaspi, Limor Sasson, and Galit Agam for their help in data collection, and to Dee B. Ankonina for her editorial contribution. My gratitude is also extended to the children and families, school principals, and teachers who participated in the study and made this intervention possible.
- Asperger syndrome
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Group intervention
- High-functioning children with autism
- Social skill intervention