Increasing social competence in the special education population: An evaluation of a summer program
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The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate a summer social skills program to determine if it increased social competency in the special education population. The study included twenty students who participated in the pilot summer social skills program for eight weeks, two times a week. Pretest and posttest measures of parents, teachers, and students were used to determine increases in social communication, social engagement, social proximity, and perspective-taking behaviors. Qualitative data from posttest interviews was also used to determine increases in social competence. Although there was no statistical significance in the increase of the social skill behaviors, an analysis of the results reported by parents, teachers, and students indicate that the program did increase social competence in the areas of social communication, social engagement, social proximity, and perspective-taking behaviors, as well as global social competence. Students who participated in the study were also indicated to have increased in self-confidence and reported it was easier to make friends.