Teaching social leisure skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorder.


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A key component of the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is difficulties with social engagement, and many individuals with this diagnosis self-report often or always feeling lonely. A promising protective factor against this experience is consistent social engagement with other individuals. One avenue for increasing the social engagement of adolescents with ASD is to teach them skills that will increase opportunities to engage with their peers, such as social leisure skills. In this study, two adolescent boys with ASD increased the number of general comments and appropriate reactions emitted during a popular social leisure activity, video games, following the use of a script-fading intervention. The social validity of this intervention was assessed through brief interviews with each of the participants and their caregivers following their participation in this study.