Effectiveness of an academic and behavioral remediation summer day camp on increasing the social skills of children with autism

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Dunleavy, Leah
McIntosh, David E. (David Eugene) 1963-
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Special Education
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The current study focused on whether an academic and behavioral remediation summer day camp increased the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The camp implemented applied behavior analysis (ABA) to address behavior interfering with developing social skills and to increase appropriate social skills. Currently, few studies document the effectiveness of improving social skills at a summer camp program for children with ASDs. This study utilized a pre-post analysis for all participants to compare changes in social skills, as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Home and Community Social Behavior Scales (HCSBS). The measures were completed by the mothers the week before the camp commenced and again during the last week of camp. Significant positive differences between pre- and post- camp response scores were found among social communication, social competence, and peer relations subscales. A significant negative difference was found on autistic mannerisms, antisocial behavior, and deviant/disruptive behavior subscales. This study suggests that an intensive summer camp program utilizing ABA can improve social skills in children with ASDs.