The Application of Social Skills Training in the Treatment of a Child With Asperger's Disorder

  • Cragar D
  • Horvath L
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Asperger's disorder was officially recognized by the American Psychological Association in 1994 with the inclusion of this disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). Consequently, it is not surprising that little research has been conducted on appropriate and effective treatments for this unique population. Treatments typically employed with children with Asperger's have been designed for chil-dren with autism. However, these populations do not have the same presenting problems, and thus it is necessary for treatments to be designed and empirically tested for children with Asperger's specifically. This case study describes the application of a social skills pro-gram to the treatment of a 10-year-old boy with Asperger's. Presenting problems, history, and assessment of the client are reviewed, the treatment program is explained, and the results of the treatment in both the short and long term are described. Finally, an evalua-tion of the treatment, implications for treatment, and recommendations for practitioners are included. Although the disorder was first described by Hans Asperger in 1944, Asperger's dis-order did not first appear as a distinct diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders until the publication of the fourth edition (DSM-IV) (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Prior to this, Asperger's was typically thought of as high-functioning autism, and children with this pattern of symptoms were diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified. However, continued research in this area has suggested that Asperger's and high-functioning autism are actu-34

Author-supplied keywords

  • Asperger's disorder
  • children
  • group therapy
  • social skills
  • treatment

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  • Dona E Cragar

  • Leah S Horvath

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