Objectives: This study intends to examine the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT) program designed to promote the theory of mind and social skills for Taiwanese school-age children with Asperger’s disorder.
Methods: Eight Taiwanese children aged 7-10 years with average intelligence participated in this program which included 10 weekly sessions with 80 minutes each. The behaviors of these participants were evaluated and compared before and after the training. Outcome measures consisted of (1) Australian Scale for Asperger’s syndrome; (2) behavior observation; (3) theory of mind task; and (4) Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.
Results: Pre-post comparison showed significant decreases in parental ratings in symptom severity (t=-5.59, p<.01), with a significant improvement in their children’s social-emotional ability (t=-4.69, p<.01) and communication skills (t=-2.98, p<.01). Behavior observation also indicated improvement in theory of mind ability. However, there were neither significant difference in participants’ performance on the theory of mind task nor in teacher’s ratings of symptom severity and social skills.
Conclusions: Findings of this study partially support the immediate effect of this CBGT program for Taiwanese children with Asperger’s disorder, but with limited generalization effect across situations.