Autism is defined by the Autism Society Of America (ASA) as: "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.”
Social Issues Related to Autism
Gresham and Elliot (1984) describe social skills as “socially acceptable learned behaviors that enable a person to interact effectively with others and avoid socially unacceptable responses.” (The key here is the word “learned” – this means they can be taught.)
Winner (2002) stated that children with Autism have a hard time understanding social behaviors because they have difficulty taking another’s perspective.
Examples of Social Skills Programs:
Navigating the Social World (McAfee, 2002).
Super Skills Program (Coucouvanis, 2005).
These programs provide social “steps to success” for many social interactions.
They use role play as a means of practicing the skills.


 Keller, J. (2011, November). Autism. Lecture presented at University of Houston.

Coucouvanis, J(2005). Super skills: a social skills group program for children

with Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism and related challenges.


Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
McAfee, J(2002). Navigating the social world: a curriculum for individuals
with Asperger's syndrome, high functioning autism and related
disorders. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons
Gresham, F.M., & Elliott, S.N. (1984). Assessment and classification of children's social skills. A review of methods and issues. School Psychology Review, 13 (3): 292-301.
Winner, M.G. (2002). Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME (2nd Edition). San Jose, CA: Think Social Publishing.


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