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ISSN: 2165-7890

Autism-Open Access
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Research Article

An Innovative Approach to Development of Social Abilities in Individuals with Autism: A Pilot Study

Monica Mazza1*, Maria Chiara Pino2, Melania Mariano1and Marco Valenti1,3
1Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of L’Aquila, Italy
2Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
3Reference Regional Centre for Autism, Abruzzo Region Health System, L’Aquila, Italy
Corresponding Author : Mazza M
Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology
University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio, Località Coppito
67100, L’Aquila, Italy
Tel: +39 0862 404141
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: January 29, 2016 Accepted: February 19, 2016 Published: February 26, 2016
Citation:Mazza M, Pino MC, Mariano M, Valenti M (2016) An Innovative Approach to Development of Social Abilities in Individuals with Autism:A Pilot Study. Autism Open Access 6:163. doi:10.4172/2165-7890.1000163
Copyright: © 2016 Mazza M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) show a significant impairment in social abilities. There are no treatments that have demonstrated evidence of being effective at improving social skills and promoting independence. The transition to adulthood, which often involves loss of school support and child and adolescent mental health services, is a challenge in the rehabilitation field.
Our pilot study is the first that describes a novel approach to involving young adults with ASD in metacognitive exercise focused on social cognition. In treatment proposed, participants with ASD help each other to create software aimed at improving children with ASD’s understanding of emotions.
Our results showed an qualitative and quantitative improvement of their cognitive empathic abilities, as witnessed by parents and of the post- treatment assessment. This pilot study highlights the importance to help individuals with ASD to fulfil their potential in areas of strength.

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