Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kwang Sun Cho-Blair, Ph. D

Keywords

Children, Asperger's syndrome, Social skills

Abstract

A lack of social skills is a major deficit for children with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities. Peer mediated social skills training is an effective method to increase social skills for these children. The present study evaluated the use of two peer-mediated intervention procedures in promoting social interaction skills of a child with Asperger's syndrome and his three typical peers, in the context of an inclusive elementary classroom. A multiple baseline design across peers was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. A multiple probe design was used to evaluate the generalization and collateral effects of the intervention on the target child and a non-trained peer. Results indicated that a peer buddy system, when used alone, increased the levels of social initiation and response for the child with Asperger's syndrome as well as the three typical peers. When the buddy system was combined with individual training, the target child's and three peers' social interaction increased further. The target child's social interaction skills were generalized to interactions with a non-trained peer, which resulted in collateral increases in social interaction of the non-trained peer. The peer mediated intervention procedures implemented in this study appeared to be strong in terms of teacher and child acceptability.

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