A Comparison of Computer-Based and Person-Implemented Social Skills Training Among Autistic Children

Shushan Campbell, Walden University


While there are many deficits associated with autism spectrum disorder, social skills deficits are one of the most noticeable in a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are many treatments utilized by mental health clinicians, healthcare professionals, and schools to address social skills deficits. Historically, autistic children have been taught social skills predominantly through behavioral interventions, which have been proven effective. However, following the rise in technological advancement, there has been a wave of new social skills computer-based interventions (CBI) geared towards ASD children. While the research into the effectiveness of CBI is limited, the new direction is said to be a promising alternative in comparison to behavioral interventions. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of CBI in comparison to known effective behavioral interventions. In this study, I conducted a secondary data analysis, examining the effectiveness of CBI on improving social skills when compared to a person-implemented intervention. The framework of the study featured social learning theory, descriptive statistics, and t test analysis, which provided an examination of the effectiveness of CBI when compared to a person-implemented intervention. Independent samples t tests showed that both Group A (FaceSay, N = 10) and Group B (Model Me Kids, N = 10) showed significant improvement in social skills. The current findings suggest that CBI programs are efficient for teaching social skills to school aged children with ASD. Future research should focus on the use of CBI in a clinical environment with a larger sample size. Implications for social change include ASD children engaging with others in a socially appropriate manner within their natural environment.