The Effects of Social Skills Training Program to Promote Social Skills of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Keywords:social skills, social skills training, preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
This research is a quasi-experimental research aimed to study the effect of social skills training program in developing social skills among preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The sample consisted of 13 preschool children with ASD age 2-6 years, who were admitted at Rajanukul Development Promotion Center (Khlong Kum). Purposive sampling method was used to recruit the sample according to inclusion criteria. The children participated in the program for 1.25 hours per day, 5 days a week, for 12 weeks. The program included social stories, snack time, and circle time. Data were collected using demographic questionnaire and Social Skills Assessment for young children with autism. Descriptive statistics and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used for data analysis.
The findings revealed that the preschool children with ASD who received the social skills training program had a total score of social skills deficit and subscores of social skills deficit decreased in 3 areas: self-regulation, social activities, and social communication. When comparing the rank of total score and subscores of social skills deficit before and after receiving the program, the total score of social skills deficit was statistically significant lower after receiving the program (Z = -3.185, p<.05). The results indicated the effectiveness of the social skills training program on enhancing social skills development in preschool children with ASD. Implementing this social skills intervention program in developmental centers, hospitals, and inclusive education is recommended in order to develop social skills in preschool children with ASD.
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