Recess is Time-in: Using Peers to Improve Social Skills of Children with Autism

  • Christena Blauvelt Harper
  • Jennifer B. G. Symon
  • William D. Frea
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-007-0449-2

Cite this article as:
Harper, C.B., Symon, J.B.G. & Frea, W.D. J Autism Dev Disord (2008) 38: 815. doi:10.1007/s10803-007-0449-2


Children with autism face enormous struggles when attempting to interact with their typically developing peers. More children are educated in integrated settings; however, play skills usually need to be explicitly taught, and play environments must be carefully prepared to support effective social interactions. This study incorporated the motivational techniques of Pivotal Response Training through peer-mediated practice to improve social interactions for children with autism during recess activities. A multiple baseline design across subjects was used to assess social skills gains in two elementary school children. The results demonstrated an increase in important social skills, namely social initiations and turn taking, during recess.


Autism Peer-mediated strategies Inclusion Social skills School intervention Peer interactions Pivotal Response Training Initiations 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christena Blauvelt Harper
    • 1
  • Jennifer B. G. Symon
    • 2
  • William D. Frea
    • 3
  1. 1.Garden Grove Unified School District in Orange CountyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.CSULA Division of Special Education and CounselingCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Autism Spectrum TherapiesLos AngelesUSA

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