We're In This Friendship Together: Building Social Skills for Students With High-Functioning Autism and Their Typical Peers

This project is designed to address the need for a social skills curriculum for students living with autism that incorporates interaction with typical peers. Students with high- functioning autism benefit from learning and developing these skills alongside their typical peers through the practical applications of these skills within the different environments of the school community. In the development of this project, the author obtained extensive research about students with autism spectrum disorders, existing social skills curricula, and the utilization of typical peers in social skill instruction. Through instructor-guided activities and social interaction with their peers, students with ASD gain understanding of and practice the fundamental social skills required for creating and maintaining friendships throughout their lives. It was concluded that with the support of their typical peers, students with autism are able to learn the important skills of communication for making connections with others and as a result, develop relationships and effectively participate within their community. Keywords: autism spectrum disorders (ASD), high-functioning autism, inclusive school, social disorders, social skill abilities, social skills curriculum, social skill deficits, social skill development, students with autism, typical peers