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Difficulties with social skills and developing social relationships is a key diagnostic characteristic of autism spectrum disorders, and is often an enduring and pervasive issue throughout the life of a person on the autism spectrum. Previous research has demonstrated a clear link between social skill deficits and numerous negative developmental outcomes. The development of effective social interaction skills is critical to successful social, emotional, language, and cognitive development, yet research on social skills programming has produced conflicting results related to the effectiveness of many social skill interventions. The purpose of this module is to provide an overview of the common social skill difficulties exhibited by individuals on the autism spectrum and to provide a summary of effective social skill intervention strategies to promote skill acquisition and enhance the performance of existing social skills. 

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 33 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $15 certficate
  1. Identify common social skill deficits
  2. Tell the differences between skill acquisition versus performance deficits
  3. Describe social skills assessment techniques
  4. Describe social skill goals and objectives
  5. Identify and explain available social skills training strategies

Module Authors

Scott Bellini, Ph.D., HSPP

Dr. Scott Bellini is a Licensed Psychologist and a faculty member with the Indiana University School Psychology Program. He is a prominent and highly impactful researcher in education and school psychology and the Director of the Social Skills Research Clinic, a university-based clinic that specializes in developing and empirically validating social skills programming for youth on the autism spectrum. Dr. Bellini was identified as one of the Top 25 most cited school psychology faculty in the country. Dr. Bellini is also the author of the award-winning book, Building Social Relationships, which has been honored as the Literary Work of the Year by the Autism Society of America and the winner of the National Indie Excellence Award in Education. To date, Dr. Bellini has provided training to educators, therapists, and parents in over 40 states.

Modules on this site are always free. If you would like proof of completion, you can purchase a certificate when you have successfully completed this module. The certificate will provide contact hours for this module.

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