Teaching theory of mind: A new approach to social skills training for individuals with autism

Sally J Ozonoff, Judith N. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

329 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of a social skills training program for normal-IQ adolescents with autism. Five boys participated in the 4 1/2-month treatment condition; four boys matched on age, IQ, and severity of autism constituted the no-treatment control group. In addition to teaching specific interactional and conversational skills, the training program provided expliciand systematic instruction in the underlying social-cognitive principles necessary to infer the mental states of others (i.e., theory of mind). Pre- and post-intervention assessment demonstrated meaningful change in the treatment group's performance on several false belief tasks, but no improvement in the control sample. No changes, however, were demonstrated on general parent and teacher ratings of social competence for either group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-433
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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