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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Social Skills Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Bellini, S., Peters, J. K., et al. (2007).
Remedial and Special Education, 28(3), 153–162.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a meta-analysis of single-subject designs investigating school-based social skills interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Children and adolescents with ASD

Intervention/Assessment: School-based social skills interventions

Number of Studies Included: 55

Years Included: 1980–2005



  • Treatment
    • Cognition/Language
      • Pragmatics/Social Skills - This meta-analysis found school-based social skills interventions to be "minimally effective for children with ASD" (p. 159). These interventions yielded “low treatment effects and low generalization effects across participants, settings, and play stimuli. Moderate maintenance effects were observed suggesting that gains made via social skills interventions are maintained after the intervention is withdrawn” (p. 159).

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Social Skills

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Added to Compendium: August 2010

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