Research Article: Impact of an implicit social skills training group in children with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disability: A before-and-after study

Date Published: July 17, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Jokthan Guivarch, Veena Murdymootoo, Sara-Nora Elissalde, Xavier Salle-Collemiche, Sophie Tardieu, Elisabeth Jouve, François Poinso, Jacobus P. van Wouwe.


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have problems with social skills. Social skills training groups are among the proposed therapeutic strategies, but their efficacy still needs to be evaluated.

To evaluate the efficacy of an implicit social skills training group in children with ASDs without intellectual disability.

A before-and-after study of children with ASD without intellectual disability was conducted in a child psychiatry day hospital, where they participated in an implicit group with cooperative games. Their social skills were assessed using the Social-Emotional Profile (SEP), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), and the empathy quotient (EQ) before and after 22 weeks.

Six patients aged 9 to 10 years old were evaluated. A significant increase in overall adaptation and social skills (median 8 and 7.7 points) in the SEP was demonstrated in addition to a significant reduction in the CARS score (median: 4 points), including in the field of social relationships. The EQ increased two-fold.

This implicit group improved the children’s social skills. It would be interesting to evaluate the maintenance of these skills over time, examine more widespread results, and compare implicit and explicit groups.

Partial Text

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are serious disorders that occur in early childhood and affect development [1,2].

We have shown that an implicit social skills training group using cooperative games improved the social skills of children with ASD without ID. This improvement primarily affected their cognitive processes.




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