Individuals with autism and intellectual disability (ID) have increased needs regarding social interaction. Social skills interventions have focussed on children; however, development of these skills is important across the lifespan. The purpose of this paper is to critically review strategies and interventions used to develop social skills with adults with autism and ID.
A systematic literature search identified five studies meeting inclusion criteria.
Positive outcomes were reported in promoting positive social behaviours. However, it is not possible to make conclusions regarding the efficacy of social skills interventions for this population due to the limited quantifiable data and small sample sizes.
The limited number of studies in the review impacts on its conclusions. Two of the papers included only one participant with both ID and autism.
A range of people need to be involved in supporting and developing social skills (peers, care staff, professionals). More research is needed in a variety of settings. Future research should attend to consistency of outcome measurement, service user perspectives, generalisation of skills, and documenting consent procedures.
This review focussed on interventions for both positive and negative social behaviours used with adults with ID (of all levels) and autism.
Bundock, K.E. and Hewitt, O. (2017), "A review of social skills interventions for adults with autism and intellectual disability", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 148-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-05-2016-0015
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