Facebook and the Social Skill Development of Individuals with Disabilities

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Poster Presentation

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This study examines how Facebook supports the social skill development of Jacob, a young man with multiple disabilities and High Functioning Autism (HFA). Data include Jacob’s Facebook interactions over a period of six months, and interviews with Jacob. Analysis was conducted using social network theory and found that through Facebook Jacob increased the quantity and quality of social ties he had with others. Data indicate that the ties built online also contribute to increased face-to-face social interactions. Although online social networking has limitations, with supervision, tools such as Facebook hold potential for developing the social skills of individuals with HFA/AS.


Presented at the 27th Annual TASH Conference in Long Beach, California on November 29, 2012.

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