autism; social skills; peer training; social initiations; schools




This study evaluated the impact of a peer training intervention on social interactions among three students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their typical peers. Two second graders and one fourth grader with ASD participated. For each student with ASD, two to four typical peers participated in training sessions that targeted increased social interactions. Data collected during lunchtime and recess showed that the peer training intervention generally resulted in increased initiations by trained peers as well as increased initiations and responses by students with ASD. Unexpectedly, untrained peers also showed increased initiations. Future research directions are discussed, including characteristics of the peers selected for training (e.g., gender, popularity) and measurement of qualitative changes in social relationships and opportunities.


Original Citation: Owen-DeSchryver, Jamie S., Edward G. Carr, Sanja I. Cale, and Audrey Blakeley-Smith. "Promoting Social Interactions Between Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Peers in Inclusive School Settings." Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 23, no. 1 (2008): 15-28.

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