Adapting In-Person Social Skills Instruction to an Online Environment

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 4
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 8: Psychological Services for Students With Autism

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. make informed decisions about delivery options of an evidence-based social skills curriculum based on evidence of effectiveness in a clinical in-person setting and the same curriculum delivered using online synchronous teleconferencing technology.
  2. identify the reasons for targeting and improving social skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  3. recognize the benefits of delivering online social skills program to youth with ASD in rural settings and during the constraints of COVID-19.


We describe a study that adapted the Laugeson and Frankel’s PEERS® social skills curriculum for adolescents to a real-time (synchronous) online environment and comparisons with the in-person program. The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of the adapted online program, assisting individuals with autism in developing targeted social skills. In particular, online delivery eliminates several barriers to services for rural and underserved students.



Benjamin T. Ooi, Brigham Young University
Terisa Gabrielsen, Brigham Young University


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