Developing the social skills of young adult Special Olympics athletes

Melissa G.F. Alexander, Ashley Smeltzer, Gail M. Dummer, Stephen J. Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to determine if young adult Special Olympics participants could develop, generalize, and maintain target social skills (eye contact, contributing relevant information, and turn taking) as a result of a 14-week Social Skills and Sports (S3) Program that combined classroom instruction with soccer activities. Data were collected through direct observation during soccer practices, parent interviews, and parent rating forms. Visual analysis and qualitative methodology were applied to analyze the four case studies. All of the participants increased their ability to demonstrate at least one of the targeted skills, generalized the skill(s) to other settings, and maintained the skill(s) five weeks after completing the intervention. Participants also developed social skills that were not targeted in S 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalEducation and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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