Improving the Social Skills of Children with HFASD: An Intervention Study, Cynthia Waugh and Joan Peskin

This study examined the effectiveness of a social skills and Theory of Mind intervention [Friendship Lab™] for children with high-functioning ASD. Children were taught Theory of Mind (ToM) concepts, while learning friendship-making skills and strategies, through a story format. Compared to two control groups, S.S.ToM participants demonstrated significantly greater gains on measures of ToM and social responsiveness. At a 3-month follow-up assessment, improvements had been maintained and continued gains were observed.

*The S.S.ToM intervention in this article is the Friendship Lab. The article can be accessed here: Improving the social skills of children with HFASD_An Intervention Study


A social-cognitive intervention program for adolescents with autism: A pilot studyPhoebe PP Cheung,  Andrew MH Siu, Ted Brown , and Mong-lin Yu

This pilot study explored the efficacy of a social-cognitive intervention program [Friendship Lab™] for adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Seven adolescents with ASD (mean age = 12.57 years) attended a schoolbased 10-week program. Social Skills Improvement System Rating
Scales, Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), and Theory of Mind Inventory were administered at baseline, immediately after the program, and post 2-months. There were significant positive gains in Theory of Mind knowledge and in individualized goals (of GAS), and there were further gains after 2 months. Qualitative evaluation was conducted by a focus group interview with parents of participants. Consistent with the quantitative findings, parents observed that their children have increased knowledge of social skills, socialize more with friends, and had increase in positive social behavior. On the other hand, they perceived an even more intensive and ongoing program could further benefit their children. This study has added to the understanding of the potential impact of social skills programs run in school.

The article can be accessed here: A social-cognitive intervention


Social Matters, Autism Ontario

Social Matters is a publication from Autism Ontario, written in 2011. The aim of the document was to improve social skills interventions for Ontarians with Autism Spectrum Disorders by providing an overview of social skills programming in the province of Ontario.

The document includes:

  1. An overview of “social skills”
  2. Why are they important?
  3. What does social skills programming in Ontario look like?
  4. Key findings in the research into programs in Ontario
  5. What we learned about effective social skills programming
  6. Recommendations
  7. Helpful appendices

The publication can be accessed here: