Behavior Analytic Perspectives on Teaching Complex Social Behavior to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • April N. KisamoreEmail author
  • Lauren K. Schnell
  • Lauren A. Goodwyn
  • Jacqueline N. Carrow
  • Catherine Taylor-Santa
  • Jason C. Vladescu


Social behavior ranges from simple responses (e.g., making eye contact when speaking to another, imitating the behavior of others, initiating conversations) to complex responses such as understanding and taking the perspective of others, empathizing with others, maintaining conversations, using and understanding figurative language, understanding when someone is lying or being deceitful, and also knowing when to lie. Children with autism spectrum disorder often demonstrate deficits in social behaviors, thus requiring intervention. Although there is a growing body of behavior analytic literature related to teaching the simple, early social skills, behavior analysts have only recently begun discussions related to the component skills involved in complex social behavior and conducting research on strategies for teaching these advanced social skills. In this chapter, behavior analytic perspectives on perspective taking, empathy, advanced conversation skills, figurative language, and lying and deceit are described. Recent research and clinical recommendations for teaching each of these complex social behaviors to children with autism spectrum disorder are also described.


Advanced conversation skills Deceit Empathy Figurative language Lying Perspective taking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • April N. Kisamore
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauren K. Schnell
    • 1
  • Lauren A. Goodwyn
    • 2
  • Jacqueline N. Carrow
    • 2
  • Catherine Taylor-Santa
    • 2
  • Jason C. Vladescu
    • 2
  1. 1.Hunter CollegeNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Caldwell UniversityCaldwellUSA

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