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Brief Report: Measuring The Effectiveness Of Teaching Social Thinking To Children With Asperger Syndrome (As) And High Functioning Autism (Hfa). Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders

1074 words - 4 pages

Social cognition is the process where people acquire, understand, and use social knowledge too accurately and quickly respond to verbal and nonverbal social information. People with Asperger syndrome (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) have a deficit in social knowledge. One part of social knowledge understands that other people have beliefs, desires, feelings, and thoughts that are separate from our own; known as perspective taking or Theory of Mind. People's ability to adjust to another person's perspective normally develops in children early. For children with AS or HFA, this process is confusing and painstaking. Social thinking is related to social cognition and promotes the teaching of the 'why' behind socialization without targeting social skills. This report examines the usefulness of teaching a social cognitive/social thinking approach to six males which have Asperger syndrome or High Functioning Autism. This study is used to examine the effectiveness and generalizability of the social cognitive approach (Social Thinking) in children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome or High Functioning Autism.These six male children have a current diagnosis of Asperger syndrome or High Functioning Autism and were recruited through the Tucson Alliance for Autism and the University of Arizona Grunewald-Blitz Clinic for Children with Communication Disorders, based on five conditions. First, they had to meet the diagnostic standard for either Asperger Disorder or HFA; which was based on the criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorder (DSM IV) and/or criteria based on independent assessment by a trained professional using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in connection with the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). Secondly, they had to be age nine to eleven years old. Thirdly, they had to be within average Verbal IQ which is 85-115. Fourthly, their hearing had to be within normal limits. Finally, they had to have no prior or current enrollment in a social intervention program either with in school or outside the school settings.There were two different settings for this study; one for the treatment and the other separate site was for the baseline and generalization measurements. One site was the University of Arizona Grunewald-Blitz clinic (GBC) which served as the baseline and generalization site. The other setting was located at the Tucson Alliance for Autism which served as the treatment site for the Social Thinking intervention. There were two sites included in this study to allow the comparison between the generalizations in a structured clinical based environment to a non-structured non-treatment environment.The Dependent measures were three verbal and two non-verbal behaviors. Within these five measures, three were considered expected and two were considered unexpected. The behaviors were measured by counting the occurrence of each behavior (verbal or nonverbal) during the social exchange. The...

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