Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #327
CE Offered: BACB
Improving the Conversational Skills of Adolescents With Autism Using Individualized Peer-Mediated Strategies
Sunday, May 29, 2022
4:30 PM–4:55 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Linda Bambara (Lehigh University)
CE Instructor: Linda Bambara, Ed.D.

Improving the Conversational Skills of Adolescents With Autism Using Individualized Peer-Mediated Strategies

Domain: Theory
LINDA BAMBARA (Lehigh University), Christine L. Cole (Lehigh University), Amanda Thomas (Lehigh University )

Adolescents with autism commonly experience an array of pragmatic language difficulties that can interfere with peer social conversation and relationships. Yet, there are few demonstrations of effective conversation interventions conducted in high school settings. Based on our accumulated research of six single case studies involving 19 adolescents with autism and over 120 neurotypical peers, this session will illustrate how peer-mediated interventions, implemented in natural high school contexts, can be used to address different profiles of conversational learners. This session will describe a conversational taxonomy for classifying conversational difficulties and identifying relevant intervention goals, essential components of our peer-mediated approach that involves direct peer and focus student instruction, and effective intervention strategies to address different conversational profiles of the reluctant, passive, and overly talkative communicator, including those who engage in inappropriate communication acts such as perseveration. Strategies for intervention will be illustrated and the procedures, findings and implications of our research will be shared. Peer-mediated interventions in high school is relatively new. We hope that is session will motivate both practitioners and researchers to further individualize and advance the effectiveness of the intervention to enhance the social conversations between adolescents with autism and their peers.

Target Audience:

School practitioners

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: (1) describe a taxonomy for classifying conversational difficulties for adolescents with autism; (2) identify essential components of peer-mediated interventions (PMI) for improving the social conversation skills of adolescents with autism in high school settings based on our research; (3) identify effective individualized PMI strategies for improving the conversational skills of learners with different conversational profiles.



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