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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Nov;16(11):512. doi: 10.1007/s11920-014-0512-6.

Psychosocial treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan: new developments and underlying mechanisms.

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UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90024, USA,


Researchers have studied many interventions to address the core impairment in social interactions in autism spectrum disorder. We reviewed the social skills intervention literature over the past two years (2012-2014). Social skills intervention studies have increased by 35% over our previous review of 2010-2012. Nearly equal numbers of studies reported results using single subject research designs (nā€‰=ā€‰29) and group designs (nā€‰=ā€‰25). Consistent with our previous review, many studies focused on joint attention/joint engagement for young children and interventions addressing peer interactions for older children. Advancements in this review period included more replications of intervention models, longitudinal outcomes, and a focus on minimally verbal children. Notably absent are social interventions for adults, and interventions addressing school-based inclusion. In addition to these target areas, future studies should isolate active ingredients of social interventions, include broader participant representation, and further examine the relation between neural development and behavioral outcomes.

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