Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with social skills difficulties, which can create barriers for them to develop friendships with their peers. Playdates are a common way that young children practice play and friendship skills in home and community environments. Few studies have trained parents to embed social skills instruction into playdates for children with ASD, and such studies have been comprised of children with mild to moderate needs. In the current study, we employed a concurrent single-case multiple probe across three parent–child–peer triads design to evaluate the effects of training and coaching in a parent-implemented playdate intervention on parental strategy use and cascading effects on child–peer social interactions during playdates. Parents also rated the social validity of the intervention. Results indicated that two of the three parents reached criterion on the strategies quickly, and the third triad required a procedural modification. Challenging behavior appeared to be a barrier to implementation. Implications and future directions are discussed.
- social skills
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health