From the Author
This study examined the effectiveness of group training with ASD children using the structured teaching lessons in Jed Baker's book versus a control group. Results showed at least minimal improvement on 90% of targeted skills compared to the control group.
2. Koning, C., Magill-Evans, J., Volden, J., and Dick, B.(2013).Efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy-based social skills intervention for school-aged boys with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 7 (2013) 1282-1290.
This study evaluated the efficacy of a 15 week CBT-based social skills intervention for boys aged 10-12 years diagnosed with an ASD. Boys with average or better IQ and receptive language skills were randomly assigned to either a control (n = 8) or intervention condition (n = 7). During intervention, boys attended weekly 2 h long group sessions focusing on self-monitoring skills, social perception and affective knowledge, conversation skills, social problem-solving, and friendship management skills. Sessions were based on work by Baker (2003), Crick and Dodge (1994), and Garcia-Winner (2002, 2005). Comparison of the outcomes using repeated measures analyses indicated that boys receiving the intervention scored significantly better on measures of social perception, peer interaction, and social knowledge than boys who had not received intervention. There were no differences on generalization measures of socialization (i.e. situations that differed from training). The manualized intervention used in this study shows promise but replication with larger samples is needed and generalization to new situations needs to be targeted.
3. Kenwothy, L. Anthony, L.G., Naiman, D O, Cannon, L., Wills, MC, Luong-Tran, C, Werner, M.A., Alexander, KC, Strang, J, Bal, E, Sokoloff, JL, Wallace, GL (2013). Randomized controlled effectiveness trial of executive function intervention for children on the autism spectrum. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2013 Nov 21.
This study set out to validate the methods used in a manual called Unstuck and On Target by Cannon et al. (2011) which targets frustration management skills. The control group used for this study used lessons based on Baker (2003) manual of social skills training. The lessons used from Baker's manual were not specifically those that target frustration, but instead those that targeted conversation, turn taking and friendship management. Not surprisingly, the Unstuck and On Target group was superior to the control group on frustration measures (remember the control group did not target frustration related skills). What was Interesting though was that the control group showed extensive improvement in social appropriateness and reciprocity skills and the lessons were well liked by schools, parents and students. So although frustration skills were not targeted in the control group, those lessons that were targeted from the Baker (2003) book did in fact lead to large gains in social functioning.