Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1809–1824 | Cite as

A Comprehensive Peer Network Intervention to Improve Social Communication of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized Trial in Kindergarten and First Grade

  • Debra Kamps
  • Kathy Thiemann-Bourque
  • Linda Heitzman-Powell
  • Ilene Schwartz
  • Nancy Rosenberg
  • Rose Mason
  • Suzanne Cox
Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this randomized control group study was to examine the effects of a peer network intervention that included peer mediation and direct instruction for Kindergarten and First-grade children with autism spectrum disorders. Trained school staff members provided direct instruction for 56 children in the intervention group, and 39 children participated in a comparison group. Results showed children in the intervention group displayed significantly more initiations to peers than did the comparison group during non-treatment social probes and generalization probes. Treatment session data showed significant growth for total communications over baseline levels. Children in treatment also showed more growth in language and adaptive communication. Finally, teachers’ ratings of prosocial skills revealed significantly greater improvements for the intervention group.

Keywords

Peer networks Social-communication skills Text cues 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra Kamps
    • 1
  • Kathy Thiemann-Bourque
    • 1
  • Linda Heitzman-Powell
    • 2
  • Ilene Schwartz
    • 3
  • Nancy Rosenberg
    • 3
  • Rose Mason
    • 4
  • Suzanne Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Life Span Institute, Juniper Gardens Children’s ProjectUniversity of KansasKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.University of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Special Education DepartmentUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.University of KansasKansas CityUSA

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