Preschool Impact on Children with Autism
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Individuals with autism demonstrate differences in social interactions, such as difficulty establishing relationships, compared to individuals without autism. One of the biggest challenges currently is how to provide appropriate educational services to young children with autism. Even though Strain, McGee, and Kohler (2001) suggest that children with autism benefit from inclusive, early-intervention programs, they are incredibly rare. The present study used a quasi-experimental design to analyze the outcomes of 5 young children with ASD in an inclusive preschool summer program for children aged 3-5 years of age. The dependent measures for this study included the program goals. Some program goals were general, in that all children with autism had similar goals. Goal progress was measured weekly through observation of the children participating in the regular classroom activities. The purpose of the present study is to address the question of whether a summer preschool inclusion program can provide children with ASD effective social skills training during pivotal years of social development.