Peer Training for Children with Autism

A recent study (journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry) found that when children with ASDs received playground social skills training from other children rather than a teacher or therapist, they showed greater improvement in social connectedness.  Specifically, children with ASDs in general education classrooms who received peer coaching were less isolated, more likely to make friends and showed greater social skills in the classroom.  “The model where an adult works directly with a child with autism just wasn’t as effective” as lessons from peers, says the study’s principal investigator, Connie Kasari.

As a strong advocate for using peers as trainers to help ASD children socialize I’m pleased to see additional research supporting this as a viable treatment option. I have used this methodology in our inclusive kindergarten programme extensively and my research also provides strong support for using peers. Please refer to the main website under Services “Inclusive Kindergarten Programme” for details.