Authors: Thiemann KS, Goldstein H
Title: Effects of peer training and written text cueing on social communication of school-age children with pervasive developmental disorder
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2004 47(1): 126-144
Year: 2004
Research Design: Single Case Design

This study consecutively examined the effects of 2 social interventions-- peer training and written text treatment -- on the social communication of 5 elementary students with pervasive developmental disorder. Each child with autism was paired with 2 peers without disabilities to form 5 triads. In Intervention 1 (peer training), peers were taught to use 5 facilitative social skills over 5 days. After peer training, 4 children with autism increased or used more stable rates of initiations and contingent responses overall. However, all children continued to demonstrate deficits in specific social-communication skills. Once Intervention 2 (direct instruction using written text cues) was implemented, increased use of 3 different communication skills was observed across all 5 participants. In addition, social validity outcomes revealed improved quality of child-peer interactions, 2 teacher reports of improved social skill development, and improved acceptance and friendship ratings for the children with autism. Results support the use of written text cues to improve children's social communication with peers, and suggest that combining approaches may be necessary to improve the quality of children's relationships.

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