The older they get, the more important social skill instruction can be.



Contrary to popular belief, teenagers diagnosed with high-functioning ASD are socially cognizant and aware of their social differences, desiring those close friendships observed amongst their peers (Locke, Ishijima, Kasari, London, 2010). It may be the most imperative to provide social instruction at this time, when the learner is motivated to learn how to make friends and the instruction will meet natural contingencies (friendships are developed, the more intimate connections are appreciated by the participants, the skills learned will be applied with frequent practice for life-long learning). ​Teens reporting higher social functioning were more likely to be able to cope with the stresses associated with the transition to college, reporting less feelings of isolation, social anxiety, loneliness, and depression (Segrin & Flora, 2000). As students enter high school, social instruction should be considered to increase their repertoire of social skills and improve their quality life in high school and beyond.