Friendship In ASD Through the Life Span: Nature, Trajectories, Importance and Treatment

Having friends is cardinal to children’s well-being and for the development of ample cognitive, linguistic, and social skills in typical development. Despite the fact that the majority of individuals with ASD(between 60%-75%) have significant difficulties in friendship formation, it is an overlooked topic. Thus, zoom-into research into friendship processes in ASD is greatly needed. In this session, we provide descriptions of friendship’s nature, quality, and importance in ASD across development, from preschool through adulthood; as well as pointing out individual, familial, and environmental components that may contribute to friendship formation in ASD. Finally, we review recent evidence from treatment models that aim to enhance friendship in ASD. Novel data will be presented that is based on quantitative and qualitative multidimensional assessment procedures, including semi-structured and spontaneous observations of friendship as well as self- and others’ reports, combining current and longitudinal evaluations of friendship.
Thursday, May 17, 2012: 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Grand Ballroom Centre (Sheraton Centre Toronto)
Session Chair:
N. Bauminger