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J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Dec;45(12):3978-89. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2504-8.

A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Social Skills in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The UCLA PEERS(®) Program.

Author information

1
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA, 300 Medical Plaza, Suite 1271, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. elaugeson@mednet.ucla.edu.
2
The Help Group-UCLA Autism Research Alliance, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. elaugeson@mednet.ucla.edu.
3
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA, 300 Medical Plaza, Suite 1271, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
4
The Help Group-UCLA Autism Research Alliance, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
5
Division of Human Development and Psychology, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
6
Alliant International University, Alhambra, CA, 91803, USA.
7
Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.

Abstract

Research suggests that impaired social skills are often the most significant challenge for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet few evidence-based social skills interventions exist for adults on the spectrum. This replication trial tested the effectiveness of PEERS, a caregiver-assisted social skills program for high-functioning young adults with ASD. Using a randomized controlled design, 22 young adults 18-24 years of age were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 12) or delayed treatment control (n = 10) group. Results revealed that the treatment group improved significantly in overall social skills, frequency of social engagement, and social skills knowledge, and significantly reduced ASD symptoms related to social responsiveness following PEERS. Most treatment gains were maintained at a 16-week follow-up assessment with new improvements observed.

KEYWORDS:

Adults; Autism spectrum disorder; Dating; Friendship; PEERS; Social skills

PMID:
26109247
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-015-2504-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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