Purpose: The present clinical focus article describes and illustrates 3 key elements of a supports-based approach to enhancing friendship with autistic students. Method: In comparison to the predominant skills-based approach, we highlight 3 key elements of a supports-based approach to social interaction for autistic children and youth. We then offer descriptive details of the activity-based music program as an illustrative example of a program that integrated all 3 elements of a supports-based approach. Specifically, we designed an activity-based music program to enhance social interaction among a 7-year-old autistic student and 4 of his nonautistic peers. Results: We focused on 3 key elements of a supports-based approach for enhancing peer interaction: (a) focusing on participation in a shared activity, (b) encouraging flexible use of multiple communicative resources, and (c) supporting egalitarian interaction. Conclusion: A supports-based approach presents a theoretically distinct and viable alternative to a skills-based approach in the design of social supports for autistic students and their peers.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.