Using peer-mediated intervention to increase the social interaction of preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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There are a growing number of children in the United States diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and many of these children exhibit deficits in social interaction. While early intervention techniques to improve these deficits, including peer-mediated interventions, have yielded gains in social interactions, many of these interventions rely heavily on adult support and reinforcement for success. The current study examined the use of a peer-mediated intervention reducing the role of the adult in the intervention. Using a single-subject, multiple-baseline across participants design, four preschool children with ASD were placed in triads with two peers each, who were trained in the peer mediated intervention. Triads were observed to examine how the use of social interaction training impacted the social interaction of the children with ASD with both their trained and untrained peers during free play. Increased social interaction between the children with ASD and both their trained and untrained peers was observed during the intervention and maintenance phases for three of the four triads. Findings suggest peer-mediated interventions with less adult support can be successful in changing the social interactions of preschoolers with ASD.