Beginning in the 1980s our work at the University of Kansas has focused on peer-mediated interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A series of related studies demonstrated that children with autism could learn academic skills in small groups with other students, and social behaviors within social and play groups with peers. Typical programs have included social skills groups, recess and lunch peer networks, and tutoring programs. We have consistently demonstrated that following participation in peer-mediated programs, children with ASD can learn to use similar communication skills and exhibit contextually appropriate initiations and responses during small groups with typical peers. Seventeen single case design studies including 48 participants have been published showing individual treatment gains. The presentation will describe peer networks, settings, and procedures for interventions. We will describe general findings of the research and discuss future directions.
Review Debra M. Kamps’s biographical statement.