The effects of a peer -mediated intervention on language and reciprocity in young children with social communication disorders

Sharon Bissonnette, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

Children with social communication disorders educated in inclusive settings often remain socially isolated from typically-developing peers. This study used a single subject ABC design to determine if a peer-buddy social skills intervention based on buddy skills would increase the frequency and quality of interaction between three preschool-aged children with social communication disorders and three typically-developing peers, in a public school setting. Children were placed in rotating pairs during three play activities. Generalization to a different classroom activity was also probed. Videotaped observations were analyzed for frequency of communicative acts, modes of communication, diversity of vocabulary, structural complexity of sentences, initiation, reciprocity, and duration of interaction. Sociometric ranking and social validation ratings were also obtained. All target children increased frequency of communicative acts directed toward typically-developing peer buddies, use of multiple modes of communication; and reciprocal communicative acts. There was no change in vocabulary or length of utterances. Results were corroborated by social validation. The peer buddy and the play activity affected the frequency of communicative acts. Reciprocity may be a more accurate measure of social interaction than frequency of communicative acts. Choice and organization of play activities, use of visual reminders for play suggestions, and opportunities to rehearse play bids may increase the success of classroom interventions.

Subject Area

Special education

Recommended Citation

Sharon Bissonnette, "The effects of a peer -mediated intervention on language and reciprocity in young children with social communication disorders" (2009). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3367988.
https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3367988

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