Inconsistencies in Autism-Specific Emotion Interventions: Cause for Concern

Monica Caldeira, Alan Edmunds


Precise educational interventions are the sine qua non of services for students with exceptionalities. Applying interventions riddled with inconsistencies, therefore, interferes with the growth and learning potential of students who need these interventions. This research synthesis documents the inconsistencies revealed during a critical analysis of the procedures and outcomes of emotion intervention studies for individuals with Autistic Disorder and Asperger’s Disorder. The authors examined all peer-reviewed emotion intervention studies published in English between 1985 and 2010 in the PsycInfo, ERIC, and Medline databases (N = 24). It is noteworthy that while 96% of studies reported improvements in emotion abilities post-intervention, these improvements were notably limited in the majority of cases and many studies demonstrated methodological inconsistencies. Specific suggestions are made for mitigating such inconsistencies in order to provide individuals with Autistic Disorder and Asperger’s Disorder the best opportunity to master and successfully implement social/emotional skills.

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