Comparing social skills in children with Autistic disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

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Shoemaker, Mary Elizabeth
social skills; autism spectrum disorder; PDD-NOS
thesis / dissertation description
Although in recent years there has been a large amount of research on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in general, relatively few studies have focused on Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) as a distinct category. As a deficit in social skills is said to be the primary defining feature of ASD, continued research on assessment and treatment of social skills deficits in ASD is warranted. The present study aims to examine the differences in social skills between children diagnosed with Autistic disorder and PDD-NOS using the Matson Evaluation of Social Skills for Youngsters (MESSY). This study extends a previous investigation conducted by Matson and colleagues that used the MESSY to examine social skills differences between children with Autistic disorder and typical children, by adding a third group, children with PDD-NOS. Results of the analyses indicated that there were statistically significant differences between all three groups in appropriate social skills. Despite a non-statistically significant result for inappropriate social skills, clinical significance was found between Autistic disorder and PDD-NOS. The implications of these results as well as future directions for research are discussed.