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The Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically presents in early childhood with delayed or abnormal functioning and according to the CDC (2022), 1 in 44 children have been diagnosed across all demographics. With these high prevalence rates, occupational therapy can be an asset in ASD through a client-centered approach. The problem is the lack of generalization of skills used in the clinic to the home environment to develop and maintain social skills in children with ASD for social participation. This capstone used program development to demonstrate the impact group sessions have on social skills for a child diagnosed with autism by gaining input from their caregivers/families. The purpose was to learn about the needs of the family as it relates to social skills and to develop group activities to address the identified needs through a program in a clinic setting. To address an identified gap in the literature, this capstone provided activities that address social skills in a way that is repeatable in the home setting. Six social skill modules were derived from the data given by the participants: Recognizing Emotions, Self-Regulation, Greetings, Making Conversation, Parallel Play, and Turn-Taking/Sharing. Each topic was designed to introduce social skills to the children in the clinic and established by behavior modeling, prompting, and positive reinforcement. By introducing planned activities for social skills, along with family support at home, children increased their social participation that can benefit them into adulthood.

Publication Date

Spring 4-17-2024


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Social skills training, Reinforcement, Backwards chaining, Sensory desensitization, Self-regulation

Medical Subject Headings

Social skills, Autism spectrum Disorder, Program development, Family support, Social skills, Self-control, Occupational therapy


Occupational Therapy | Pediatrics


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 10-17, 2024.

A Program To Help at Home: Social Skill For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder