J Autism Dev Disord 2020 Sep 5. Epub 2020 Sep 5.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
With Latent Class Analysis applied on data of 98 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (9-12 years; 17 girls) participating in social skills training (SST) in a randomized controlled trial (Dekker et al. 2019), four subgroups were detected, based on social-communicative skills before, and response patterns to training. Two subgroups improved after SST. Characterizing the subgroups based on participant and intervention characteristics showed that improvement was related to lower parent-reported perceived difficulty of social-communicative skills at start, higher verbal ability, younger age and milder symptoms of ASD and anxiety. The lowest performing non-improving subgroup participated more often in SST without parent/teacher involvement, compared to all other subgroups. Response to SST in ASD seems to vary depending on participant characteristics.