Illustrating a Supports-Based Approach Toward Friendship With Autistic Students Purpose The present clinical focus article describes and illustrates 3 key elements of a supports-based approach to enhancing friendship with autistic students. Method In comparison to the predominant skills-based approach, we highlight 3 key elements of a supports-based approach to social interaction for autistic children and youth. We ... Clinical Focus
Newly Published
Clinical Focus  |   April 05, 2018
Illustrating a Supports-Based Approach Toward Friendship With Autistic Students
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Verónica Vidal
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign
  • Scott Robertson
    Independent Researcher, Washington, DC
  • Laura DeThorne
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Verónica Vidal: vero.g.vidal@gmail.com
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Erinn Finke
    Editor: Erinn Finke×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / School-Based Settings / Newly Published / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   April 05, 2018
Illustrating a Supports-Based Approach Toward Friendship With Autistic Students
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0075
History: Received May 26, 2017 , Revised September 29, 2017 , Accepted January 3, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0075
History: Received May 26, 2017; Revised September 29, 2017; Accepted January 3, 2018

Purpose The present clinical focus article describes and illustrates 3 key elements of a supports-based approach to enhancing friendship with autistic students.

Method In comparison to the predominant skills-based approach, we highlight 3 key elements of a supports-based approach to social interaction for autistic children and youth. We then offer descriptive details of the activity-based music program as an illustrative example of a program that integrated all 3 elements of a supports-based approach. Specifically, we designed an activity-based music program to enhance social interaction among a 7-year-old autistic student and 4 of his nonautistic peers.

Results We focused on 3 key elements of a supports-based approach for enhancing peer interaction: (a) focusing on participation in a shared activity, (b) encouraging flexible use of multiple communicative resources, and (c) supporting egalitarian interaction.

Conclusion A supports-based approach presents a theoretically distinct and viable alternative to a skills-based approach in the design of social supports for autistic students and their peers.

Acknowledgments
Financial support for the first author has been provided by the Becas Chile, PhD Scholarship Abroad and the Goldstick Family Fellowship for the Study of Communication Disorders. The authors especially thank Abigail Clark, Jacey Ernd, Colleen Hogan, Carley Serena, Theresa Versaci, Carissa Ernat, and Anna Gottby, who assisted with the data collection and coding for this project. The authors thank as well Julie Hengst and Cynthia Johnson for their advice and suggestions and to the participating school and families.
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