Students with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) are frequently victims of peer harassment and bullying. While it is well documented in the literature this subgroup of students are highly victimized and the negative outcomes associated with being victimized, efforts have yet to explore intervention and prevention practices designed to reduce the victimization rates among this population. Friendship has been highly researched and found to play a moderating factor reducing the risk of victimization. Peer social networks (PSN) show promise for promoting the friendship development between students with HFA/AS and their typically developing peers. This study will employ a multiple baseline design with probes across participants to examine the effects of PSN on social interactions, frequency of victimization, and friendship development for high school students with HFA/AS. The results of this study will determine if PSN can be an effective strategy to increase social interactions, decrease victimization rates, and promote the development of friendships for students with HFA/AS.
Area(s) of Work: Autism & Developmental Disabilities
Organization for Autism Research
07/01/2013 to 12/31/2014