Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Evan Dart

Advisor Department



The purpose of the present study was to determine which lesson from a social skills program would result in the greatest improvement in duration of social interaction for children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) between the ages of five and fifteen. The Superheroes Social Skills Program (Jensen et al., 2011) includes lesson plans that focus directly on helping children with ASD develop communication skills in group settings. The data indicate that one specific lesson, Participation and Joining In, was responsible for the largest mean increase in duration of social interactions of participants. Social skills lessons were introduced in different orders for each participant. This is significant, because we were able to determine that the social skills lesson on Participating and Joining In is successful regardless of when it is introduced in relation to other lessons, suggesting that it is independently effective and may not require other foundational skills to improve duration of social interaction.