Publication Date

Winter 12-3-2020


School of Education


Education: Special Education


Assistive Technology, Instructional Technology, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Skills, Generalization, Maintenance


Educational Methods | Educational Technology | Special Education and Teaching


Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have limited social or communication skills and, thus, need extra assistance in learning when and how to engage in appropriate interactions with those around them. However, because there are several different individual skills (e.g., joint attention, emotional expression, etc.) that fall under the categories of social and communication skills, and there are even more options of devices and programs to choose from within assistive technology (AT) and instructional technology (IT), it may seem daunting to find the right technology to meet a specific child’s needs and to determine whether that technology procedures lasting results. The purpose of this integrated literature review was to investigate whether devices used for social skills intervention in PreK-12 students with ASD function as either AT or IT, with the secondary goal of determining which technologies promote better maintenance and generalization than others in social skills interventions in PreK-12 students with ASD. Analysis of published research studies on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Games, Video Modeling, Social Robots, and Wearable Assistive Technologies demonstrate that many of these technologies function as either AT or IT, depending on the context of the situation. Furthermore, it was found that certain devices, specifically Video Modeling and Social Robots, promote better maintenance and generalization.