Friendship: Operationalizing the Intangible to Improve Friendship-Based Outcomes for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder Purpose Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have social deficits that affect making and maintaining friends. Many empirically tested methods to address these social deficits are available, yet difficulties related to the establishment and maintenance of authentic friendships persist. Method This viewpoint article (a) briefly reviews the current ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   November 01, 2016
Friendship: Operationalizing the Intangible to Improve Friendship-Based Outcomes for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erinn H. Finke
    Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Erinn H. Finke: enh109@psu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Cynthia Cress
    Associate Editor: Cynthia Cress×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Viewpoint
Viewpoint   |   November 01, 2016
Friendship: Operationalizing the Intangible to Improve Friendship-Based Outcomes for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 654-663. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0042
History: Received April 27, 2015 , Revised September 28, 2015 , Accepted March 12, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 654-663. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0042
History: Received April 27, 2015; Revised September 28, 2015; Accepted March 12, 2016

Purpose Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have social deficits that affect making and maintaining friends. Many empirically tested methods to address these social deficits are available, yet difficulties related to the establishment and maintenance of authentic friendships persist.

Method This viewpoint article (a) briefly reviews the current state of the science relative to social and friendship skills training for individuals with ASD, (b) considers the potential links (or lack thereof) between current social and friendship skill interventions for individuals with ASD and outcomes related to making and maintaining friends, (c) examines how friendship-related outcomes might be maximized, and (d) proposes a framework for intervention planning that may promote these valued outcomes.

Results There are several key concepts to consider in planning intervention targeting friendship as an outcome. These concepts include (a) equal status, (b) mutually motivating and authentic opportunities for interaction, and (c) frequent opportunities for interaction.

Conclusions There are many aspects about friendship development that cannot be controlled or contrived. Much is still to be learned about the achievement of better friendships for individuals with ASD. Reconceptualizing the way we design intervention may promote better outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access