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Systematic Review of Peer-Mediated Intervention for Children with Autism Who Are Minimally Verbal

Abstract

In peer-mediated intervention (PMI), peers act as agents of intervention. Previous reviews in this area have not addressed the effectiveness of using PMI with children with autism who are minimally verbal. Following a systematic search, we reviewed 25 studies where PMI was used to increase communication in minimally verbal participants. The majority of these (n = 23) were single-case experimental design studies in settings that included preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. PMIs varied in the amounts of training offered to peers and the types of activities in which children engaged. Social communication increased across studies, with alternative and augmentative communication and spoken language measured in seven studies, respectively. We offer recommendations for future research in this area.

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Acknowledgments

This paper was prepared as part of a doctoral dissertation for the first author, MOD.

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MOD conceived of the review, led its design and analysis, and drafted the manuscript. NK, JF, and CAM participated in study conception, design, protocol development, and manuscript review. NOL and AOD served as secondary coders and assisted in revising the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. O’Donoghue.

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O’Donoghue, M., O’Dea, A., O’Leary, N. et al. Systematic Review of Peer-Mediated Intervention for Children with Autism Who Are Minimally Verbal. Rev J Autism Dev Disord 8, 51–66 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40489-020-00201-2

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Keywords

  • Review
  • Minimally verbal
  • Peer-mediated intervention
  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Participation