Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Arts in Education (MA)

MA Concentration

Special Education Autism Spectrum Disorder


Linda Haymes, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


Impaired social development is one of the core characteristics identified as part of autism spectrum disorders, and for people with autism improvement of social skills is crucial for their sense of well-being and happiness. This study measured the effects of a comprehensive social skills intervention used in a special day class of fourth and fifth grade students with autism. Intervention was conducted as part of the regular school day, in the classroom and on the school campus, and included naturalistic strategies, direct instruction, video modeling, modeling, role-play, and parental involvement. Three skills were targeted for intervention, eye contact, answering, and greeting. Assessment, intervention and practice took place over a five-week period of time.

Required prompting levels were assessed before and after intervention to determine the effects of intervention. There was limited success by students in developing independence on all steps of the social skills targeted, but necessary prompts generally became less intrusive, requiring fewer visual or physical prompts.