Research Article: Using perseverative interests to improve interactions between adolescents with autism and their typical peers in school settings
Koegel, R., Fredeen, R., Kim, S., Danial, J., Rubinstein, D., & Koegel, L. (2012). Using perseverative interests to improve interactions between adolescents with autism and their typical peers in school settings. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 14(3), 133-141. doi: 10.1177/1098300712437043
The literature suggests that adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) typically are not socially engaged during unstructured school activities and do not initiate social activities with typically developing peers. This study assessed whether implementing socialization opportunities in the form of lunch clubs based around aspects of the adolescents with ASD’s perseverative interests would promote positive and direct social interaction between the target adolescent and their typically developing peers. A repeated measures multiple baseline experimental design (with two reversals) was implemented across participants. During baseline measures, the participants did not show social engagement or initiations. During intervention, results showed large increases in both social engagement and initiations. These results have implications for understanding variables related to social development in autism.