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Peer-Mediated Strategies. Ian James Nutkis Summer 2008 Caldwell College. Agenda. Brief Description of Research Identification of Sources Components of Teaching Strategies References. Conducting My Search. Psych INFO EBSCO Key words for search PEER MEDIATED STRATEGIES PEERS

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Peer mediated strategies

Peer-Mediated Strategies

Ian James Nutkis

Summer 2008

Caldwell College


  • Brief Description of Research

  • Identification of Sources

  • Components of Teaching Strategies

  • References

Conducting my search
Conducting My Search

  • Psych INFO


  • Key words for search





What are peer mediating strategies
What are Peer Mediating Strategies

  • The use of social competent peers to model and reinforce appropriate social behavior

    Promote Peer efforts by arranging environments to provide optimal interaction and responding

    Teach typical peers to reinforce target behaviors

    Teach peers how to initiate social interactions

    Provide training for children with Autism on how to socialize with peers

  • Social Skills: ability to relate to others in a reciprocally reinforcing manner and the ability to generalize to new social interactions

    (Schopler & Mesibov, 1986)

Why focus so much on socialization with peers
Why Focus so Much on Socialization with Peers

  • Without appropriate social skills children will be more likely to engage in problems behavior

  • As the child becomes older and life calls for more socialization an increase in anti-social behavior may increase

  • A limited opportunity to learn how to behave appropriately from peer modeling

    (Kennedy & Shukla, 1995; Pollard, 1998; Scott, Clark, & Brady, 2000)

Explanation of deficit
Explanation of Deficit

  • Spontaneity / Flexibility

  • The inability to observe peers and concentrate on the correct context of the social interaction leads the child to behave inappropriately in these situations

  • Children with Autism may want to interact however without the proper skills it may appear that they do not because their initiations and responses are inappropriate

    (Scott et al., 2000).

Teaching strategies for children with autism
Teaching Strategies for Children with Autism

  • Previous teaching strategies were conducted through adult-mediated approaches.

  • Rogers (2000) explained that when teaching social skills a problem of generalization with peers has resulted in inappropriate use of the acquired skills

  • Bandura (1977) Contests that social interactions with peers results in appropriate future novel interactions as the child matures

Peer mediated strategies1
Peer-Mediated Strategies

  • Based on research, inclusion of Special Education students in the General Education setting has become the new focus treatments for children with Autism

  • Pierce & Schreibman, 1997b conducted a study where they recorded interactions between general education students and peers who were diagnosed with Autism and found a limited interaction between the two groups

  • Bandura’s Explanation

  • Inability to model peers in their environment correctly

    • Focus on incorrect stimuli

    • Modeling incorrect behavior or not modeling at all

    • Retention of information

    • Lack of reinforcement

Interesting concepts in why peers do not interact with children on the spectrum
Interesting concepts in why peers do not interact with children on the Spectrum

  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Expectations become reality

  • Affect/Effort Theory: Based on how the peer perceives the child’s physical invitation to interact will result in how much effort they make to initiate an interaction and maintain socializing for that interaction and in the future

    (Darley & Oleson, 1993).

  • An issue has been the length of interactions with peers. Most kids will initiate to make parents, teachers happy however the interaction may be superficial and brief

  • Altering expectation through intervention may very difficult however is paramount in the success of the intervention

Types of peer mediated strategies
Types of Peer-Mediated Strategies children on the Spectrum

Altering Peer Expectations

  • Peer Tutoring

  • Peer buddy

  • Integrated play groups

  • Group-oriented Contingencies

Types of peer mediated strategies1
Types of Peer-Mediated Strategies children on the Spectrum

Increasing Peer Effort

  • Teaching initiations and how to reinforce the child with Autism

  • Peer networks

  • PRT

Peer tutoring buddy
Peer Tutoring/ Buddy children on the Spectrum

  • Focus on Dyad of 1-to-1 peer

  • The goal is for the child with Autism to model the typical peer in areas of


    Play Skills

    Appropriate Behavior

  • Laushey and Heflin (2000) Demonstrated the effectiveness of this method

  • Peer Tutoring used with higher-functioning children to teach academic skills (Kamps et al. 1999)

Integrated play groups
Integrated Play Groups children on the Spectrum

  • Adult sets the occasion for interaction through a game or academic instruction

  • The key is to have the activity or game facilitate the interactions it should not require the staff to prompt the children

    Key Components


    Small groups

    Tasks on level of child

    Only adult interaction when new skill needs to reinforced

Integrated play groups1
Integrated Play Groups children on the Spectrum

  • Roeyers 1996 conducted a study using 85 children aged 5-13 in Belgium using two groups

    Experimental and Control group

    Peers informed about Autism

    Results showed an increase in

    Time spent interacting

    Increase in responding

    Increased social initiations

    Decrease in Stereotypy

Group oriented contingency
Group-Oriented Contingency children on the Spectrum

  • All children engage in specific target behavior to obtain a common reinforcer

  • Goal is to have the children engage in behavior without specific training.

  • This technique is good for larger groups

  • Kohler et al., 1995; Fefbvre & Strain, 1989 demonstrated an increase in social interactions to 4 to 6 year-old children

  • Components: Play organization, share offers and requests and assistance offers and requests

  • An increase from 28% to 65% of social interactions

Teaching peers social skills strategies
Teaching Peers Social Skills Strategies children on the Spectrum

  • Goal: The more effort the peer makes the more likely the child with Autism will want to engage in social interactions

  • The more comfortable the peer is with interacting the more effort they will put in and see the interaction as reinforcing rather than aversive

    (Disalvo et al., 2002)

Initiation training for peers
Initiation Training for Peers children on the Spectrum

  • Provide peers with information pertaining to ABA

    • Easy instruction

    • Prompting/reinforcement/extinction protocols

      Skills were broken down into parts and taught in isolation

      Greetings/initiation of play/conversation strategies/imitation and direction following/sharing/turn taking/requesting help and other items

      Peers compliment their classmates and how to use emotions and affect to increase interactions

      (Disalvo et al., 2002)

Peer networks
Peer Networks children on the Spectrum

  • Focuses on providing support through educating peers on the disability of focus

  • An increase in interest in the peer would facilitate more interactions

  • Garrison-Harrell et al., (1997) incorporated a multiple baseline design which has the experimental group learn about the children with disabilities

  • Peers taught how to use augmentative communication systems, social skills training that focused on simple conversations

  • With exposure and education about their peers typical developing peers recorded more acceptance and an increase in interacting

Pivotal response training
Pivotal Response Training children on the Spectrum

  • Pierce and Schreibman (1995, 1997a, 1997b) used role-play techniques to teach peers how to deliver reinforcement

  • Reinforcement consisted of…..

    paying attention


    variety of toys and activities

    modeling appropriate behavior

    encouraging language

    variety of responses

    This is conducted in the Natural Environment based on the targets preference for activity

Conceptual analysis 4 term contingency
Conceptual Analysis 4-Term Contingency children on the Spectrum

Higher order conditional stimuli

Discriminative Stimuli/Motivating Operations



Social skills in a classroom using peer buddy
Social Skills in a classroom using Peer Buddy children on the Spectrum

Its time for lunch in a 3rd grade inclusion classroom

Peer buddy checks activity schedule and packs up books, Child is hungry at this time Child on the spectrum checks activity schedule and packs up books and says….

“Do you want to go to the cafeteria with me”

Peer buddy responds “YES” and begins to initiate a conversation based on scripted topic that pertains to the day’s activities Attention from peer and social reinforcement given as a result of response

Class example using 4 term contingency
Class Example using 4-Term Contingency children on the Spectrum

  • Higher Order Conditioned Stimuli

  • Discriminative Stimuli/MO

  • Response

  • Consequence

    GOOD LUCK :<)

Video children on the Spectrum


References children on the Spectrum

  • Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. New York: Prentice Hall.

  • Darley, J. M., & Oleson, K. C. (1993). Introduction to research on interpersonal expectations. In P. D. Blanck (Ed.), Interpersonal expectations: Theory, research, and applications. Studies in emotion and social interaction (pp. 45-63). New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • DiSalvo, Carla A., Oswald, Donald Pl, Focus on Autism and Other Develpmental Disabilities,Vol 17 (4), Win 2002. pp. 198-207.

  • Garrison-Harrell, L., Kamps, D., & Kravitz, T. (1997). The effects of peer networks on social-communicative behaviors for students with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 12, 241-254.

  • Kamps, D. M., Dugan, E., Potucek, J., & Collins, A. (1999). Effects of cross-age peer tutoring networks among students with autism and general education students. Journal of Behavioral Education, 9, 97-115.

  • Kennedy, C. H., & Shukla, S. (1995). Social interaction research for people with autism as a set of past, current, and emerging propositions. Behavioral Disorders, 21, 21-35.

  • Kohler, F. W., Strain, P. S., Hoyson, M., Davis, L., Donna, W. M., & Rapp, N. (1995). Using group-oriented contingency to increase social interactions between children with autism and their peers: A preliminary analysis of corollary supportive behaviors. Behavior Modification, 19, 10-32.

  • Laushey, K. M., & Heflin, L. J. (2000). Enhancing social skills of kindergarten children with autism through the training of multiple peers as tutors. Journal of Autism and Related Disorders, 30, 183-193.

  • Pierce, K., & Schreibman, L. (1997a). Multiple peer use of pivotal response training social behaviors of classmates with autism: Results from trained and untrained peers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30, 157-160.

  • Pierce, K., & Schreibman, L. (1997b). Using peer trainers to promote social behavior in autism: Are they effective at enhancing multiple social modalities? Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 12, 207-218.

  • Roeyers, H. (1996). The influence of non-handicapped peers on the social interactions of children with a pervasive developmental disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 26, 303-320.

  • Rogers, S. J. (2000). Interventions that facilitate socialization in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 399-409.

  • Schopler, E., & Mesibov, G. B. (Eds.). (1986). Social behavior in autism. New York: Plenum Press.

  • Scott, J., Clark, C., & Brady, M. (2000). Students with autism: Characteristics and instruction programming. San Diego, CA: Singular.