This work presents the results obtained in a therapeutic social skills group of adults living with Asperger's Syndrome (ASD). The treatment consists in a regular participation in specifically designed groups. Patients meeting the criteria for ASD have been selected with no psychiatric comorbidity and were thus able to optimal group interaction. They were suffering significant axiety symptoms supposed to lead to inadequate social skills as well as to result from them. Requisite participation included ten sessions in group discussions of topics propose by the patients themselves. Special attention was accorde to train the patients in detecting possible functional analysis processes leading to increasing anxiety and in training social skills. The paper concentrates in three assessments by the patient themselves of four different scales (anxiety, depression, self-esteem and social skills in daily life) allowing to the comparison of baseline level (before session 1) with short term (immediately after the last session) and long term benefits of training (3 months later). These different measures revealed significant long term improvement in the patients. These results are important because they consist in training the patients in self-help. They might also contribute to better understanding of the ASD by the scientific community as well as by the patients themselves. Finally, long term treatments such as proposed here are more likely to extend the improvement of the patients' well-being to their social environment, family and professional one. It is thus both a clinical and a theoretically relevant research effort.
Fabienne Giuliani* and Pierre El Korh
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