Lost in the autism spectrum : assessment and intervention for improving social competence in high functioning girls displaying 'autistic-like' behaviours : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MEdPsych in Educational Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

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Massey University
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This study is about a focused social skill intervention for pre-­-pubescent girls with high functioning ‘autistic-­-like’ behaviours to improve their social competence. Participants were four girls between the ages of 8-­-12 years who participated in the 16-­-session programme over an 8 week period. Using a case study design and a mixed methods approach, the intervention used video modelling to address the visual learning preference known inherent to those with ASD along with the incorporation of the SOLO taxonomy to meet their systemising strengths. The results showed that when provided with a targeted intervention their social skills behaviours improved and problem behaviours decreased. This study identified that girls with ‘autistic-­-like’ behaviours, when identified and provided with targeted intervention, have the ability to develop skills to engage in positive reciprocal interactions with peers, adults and family. The study concludes with identifying limitations and future research needs.
Autism spectrum disorders, Treatment, Assessment, Girls, Mental health, Social skills, Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology::Applied psychology