Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Applied Behavior Analysis

Major Professor

Lise Fox, Ph. D.

Keywords

Peer training, PRT, Teaching play skills, Peer mediated interventions, ASD

Abstract

Children with autism, by diagnostic criteria, experience a lack of age appropriate play and social skills (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). This study evaluated three typically developing peer's ability to implement Pivotal Response Training strategies during recess with a child with autism in their third grade class. A concurrent multiple probe baseline across peers design was used to assess peers ability to implement Pivotal Response Training strategies with the target child and the effects of intervention on the play and communication behavior of the target child. Generalization measures were taken in an untrained environment. Measures of social validity in the form of peer interviews and teacher questionnaire were completed. Results displayed that peers were able to use Pivotal Response Training strategies during recess with a child with autism. During post-training/intervention and follow-up sessions the child with autism engaged in higher levels of communication to peers, and slightly lower levels of communication to self. The target child also experienced a decreasing trend in levels of solitary play, an increasing trend in levels of play with peer trainers and levels of parallel play remained near baseline levels. Peers were also able to generalize these skills to an untrained environment to an extent.

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