Class Videos of Important People (Class VIP): a school-based social intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disability
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Youth with disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID), have difficulty forming and maintaining peer relationships (Carter & Hughes, 2005; Guralnick, 1999; Meyer & Ostrosky, 2014; Petrina, Carter, & Stephenson, 2014; Shattuck, Orsmond, Wagner, & Cooper, 2011; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, Garza, & Levine, 2005). This is of concern considering that early friendships are important to positive social, cognitive, and emotional development, and contribute to future success and wellbeing (Carter & Hughes, 2005; Meyer & Ostrosky, 2014; Petrina et al., 2014; Wagner et al, 2005). Of all youth with disabilities, those diagnosed with ASD and/or ID (ASD/ID) who have greater cognitive and communication challenges may present with the most severe social impairments (de Bildt et al., 2005; Matson et al., 2009; Wilkins & Matson, 2009). However, effective interventions for adolescents with ASD/ID who have limited cognitive and communication skills are limited by gaps in the social intervention literature. In general, the social intervention literature focuses on: (1) younger children (Carter, Sisco, Chung, & Stanton-Chapman, 2010; Hughes et al., 2012), (2) children with ASD/ID who have stronger cognitive and communication skills (Walton & Ingersoll, 2013), (3) only immediate outcomes in the contrived intervention context (Gresham et al., 2001; Hughes et al. 2012; Sheridan, Hungelmann, & Maughan, 1999), and (4) discrete social skills outcomes rather than friendship-based outcomes (Finke, 2016). A program to address these gaps is needed. Class Videos of Important People (Class VIP) is a theory- and evidence-driven school-based social intervention for adolescents with ASD/ID who have limited cognitive and communication skills. The 20-week program will include: (1) video self-modeling, (2) positive self-review, (3) peer disability awareness education, (4) peer training, and (5) teacher training. Goals of the program will be to improve quality of social interactions, increase self-efficacy, and increase friendship formation among students with ASD/ID. The proposed evaluation plan will explore feasibility of program implementation and preliminary outcomes. Potential funding of the program and dissemination activities will also be discussed.