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Peer Buddies® uses only empirically-validated treatment methods based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.  Your child will receive individualized attention and his or her program will be tailored to meet your child’s unique needs. 

We believe in data

Here’s the research

Countless research articles demonstrate the effectiveness of using peer-mediated strategies to promote social skills in individuals with social delays. 


Here are just a few of them...


Carr, E. G., & Darcy, M. (1990). Setting generality of peer modeling in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 20, 45‐59.


4 preschoolers with autism participated in treatment whereby a typical peer demonstrated and prompted a variety of actions and object manipulations that defined the activity. Following training, all 4 preschoolers generalized their imitative skills to a new setting involving new actions.  View Abstract



Carter, C., Meckes, L., Pritchard, L., Swensen, S., Wittman, P. P., & Velde, B. (2004). The friendship club: An after‐school program for children with Asperger Syndrome. Family and Community Health, 27, 143‐150.


10 children with Asperger Syndrome participated in 2 groups of the friendship club with parent facilitators and leaders. Specific topics were selected for each classroom or activity to teach children with Asperger Syndrome appropriate social skills to maintain friendships. Positive feedback was reported by participants and parents.  View Abstract



Chan, J. M., Lang, R., Rispoli, M., O’Reilly, M., Sigafoos, J., & Cole, H. (2009). Use of peer mediated interventions in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3, 876‐889.


The authors identified 42 studies that included a total of 172 participants who participated in peer‐mediated interventions.  Outcomes were positive in 91% of the studies.  View Abstract



Chung, K., Reavis, S., Mosconi, M., Drewry, J., Matthews, T., & Tassé, M. J. (2007). Peer‐ mediated social skills training program for young children with high‐functioning autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 423‐436. 


4 males with high‐functioning autism participated in this 12‐week peer‐mediated social skills training program consisting of video feedback, a token system, and positive reinforcement.  Results: improvement in social communication skills.  View Abstract



Dugan, E., Kamps, D., Leonard, B., Watkins, N., Rheinberger, A., & Stackhaus, J. (1995). Effects of cooperative learning groups during social studies for students with autism and fourth‐grade peers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 175‐188.


2 students with autism and 16 typical peers were integrated in learning groups in a social studies class. Following the teacher’s introduction of new material, cooperative learning groups tutored them in facts, a team activity, and wrap‐up review. Results indicated improvement in information acquisition, duration of interaction, and academic engagement.  View Full Article



Farmer‐Dougan, V. (1994). Increasing requests by adults with developmental disabilities using incidental teaching by peers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27, 533‐544. 


3 pairs of adults with severe mental retardation or autism participated in an incidental teaching procedure to increase requesting, prompting, and responding during lunch-preparation sessions.  All three behaviors increased and maintained once training ended.  View Full Article



Garfinkle, A. N., & Schwartz, I. S. (2002). Peer‐imitation: Increasing social interactions in children with autism and other developmental disabilities in inclusive preschool classroom. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 22, 26‐38.


3 preschoolers with autism and one student with developmental delays participated in this peer‐ imitation intervention. The small‐group, peer‐imitation training included teacher instruction to the small group, prompts to promote imitation, praise of imitative actions, and selection of the leader. Results were increased peer‐imitation and social behavior.  View Abstract



Harper, C. B., Symon, J.B.G., & Frea, W. D. (2008). Recess is time‐in: Using peers to improve social skills of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 815‐ 826. 


2 third graders with autism and 6 typically developing peers participated in an intervention which combined pivotal response training and peer‐mediated practice during recess. Results demonstrated improvement in turn‐taking skills and social initiations.  View Abstract



Jones, C. D., & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). Siblings, peers, and adults: Differential effects of models for children with autism. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 24, 187‐198. 


12 individuals (3 children with autism, 3 peers, 3 siblings, 3 teachers) participated in this study. The intervention included 3 modeling conditions: adult modeling, peer modeling, and sibling modeling. Results indicated improvement in novel language skills.  View Abstract



Kamps, D. M., Barbetta, P. M., Leonard, B. R., & Delquadri, J. C. (1994). Classwide peer tutoring: An integration strategy to improve reading skills and promote peer interactions among students with autism and general education peers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27, 49‐61. 


3 elementary boys with high functioning autism and 47 typical peers participated in this class-wide peer‐tutoring approach. Increased reading rates and comprehension, in addition to increased social interactions between the students with autism and their typical peers resulted.  View Full Article



Kamps, D. M., Leonard, B. R., Vernon, S., Dugan, E. P., & Delquadri, J. C. (1992). Teaching social skills to students with autism to increase peer interactions in an integrated first‐grade classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 281‐288. 


3 seven‐year‐old boys with high‐functioning autism, 2 children with physical disabilities, and 11 typically developing peers participated in this study. Social skills training was delivered in social skills groups. Social skills taught included conversations, initiations, giving and receiving compliments, taking turns and sharing, helping others/asking for help, and including others in activities. The training resulted in positive social behaviors of both children with autism and their peers.  View Full Article



Kamps, D., Royer, J., Dugan, E., Kravits, T., Gonzalez‐Lopez, A., Garcia, G., Carnazzo, K., Morrison, L., & Kane, L. G. (2002). Peer training to facilitate social interaction for elementary students with autism and their peers. Exceptional Children, 68(2), 173‐187. 


The first study involved 5 students with autism and 51 general ed peers. Peer training consisted of social skills training for group work and tutor partners training. Results indicated increases in social interaction. The second study involved 34 students with autism and 130 peer participants. The peer‐mediated program trained peers in reinforcing and prompting social interaction. Results demonstrated an increase in social skills and enhanced generalization effects.  View Full Article



Lanquetot, R. (1989). The effectiveness of peer modeling with autistic children. Journal of the Multihandicapped Person, 2, 25‐34. 


The effectiveness of peer modeling in increasing school readiness among 20 children with autism was evaluated. Results indicated peer modeling in the classroom was an effective way to teach typical behaviors to individuals with autism. View Abstract



Lee, S., Odom, S. L., & Loftin, R. (2007). Social engagement with peers and stereotypic behavior of children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9, 67‐79. 


3 children with autism and 2 typically developing peers participated in this peer‐ mediated intervention. The intervention took place during structured play activities where trained peers directed social initiations. Results indicated a decrease in stereotypic behavior and an increase in social engagement.  View Abstract



Liber, D. B., Frea, W. D., & Symon, J.B.G. (2008). Using time‐delay to improve social play skills with peers for children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 312‐ 323. 


The study involved 3 boys with autism who were taught play activities that combined a play sequence with requesting peer assistance using a graduated time‐delay procedure. Results demonstrated an increase in pretend play in 1 of the participants. 2 also demonstrated generalization of skills.  View Abstract



McGee, G. G., Almeida, M. C., Sulzer‐Azaroff, B., & Feldman, R. S. (1992). Promoting reciprocal interactions via peer incidental teaching. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Special Issue: The Education Crisis: Issues, Perspectives, Solutions, 25, 117‐126. 


The study looked at peer incidental teaching as a strategy for increasing reciprocal peer interactions in children with autism. 6 preschoolers were involved, with 3 trained as peer tutors for the other 3. Teacher and peer ratings supported the social validity of positive findings, and results indicated positive effects of the intervention.  View Full Article



Morrison, L., Kamps, D., Garcia, J., & Parker, D. (2001). Peer mediation and monitoring strategies to improve initiations and social skills for students with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 3, 237‐250. 


4 students with autism and their typical peers were trained to use social skills monitoring strategies while playing games. The targeted social skills were sharing, requesting, and commenting. Results showed that the use of reinforcement, adult teaching, and peer mediation for skills use resulted in increased social interaction and initiations.  View Abstract



Odom, S. L., & Watts. E. (1991). Reducing teacher prompts in peer‐mediated interventions for young children with autism. Journal of Special Education, 25(1), 26‐43. 


Participants were 3 preschool‐aged boys with autism. Peers were taught using feedback techniques, social initiation strategies, and verbal prompting skills.  Small groups combining children with and without autism were then assigned to participate in structured play activities. Results indicated significant increases in peer initiations.  View Abstract



Owen‐DeSchryver, J. S., Carr, E. G., Cale, S. I., & Blakeley‐Smith, A. (2008). Prompting social interactions between students with autism spectrum disorders and their peers in inclusive school settings. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 23, 15‐28. 


A 6-month peer training intervention was delivered to 3 students with autism and their typical peers. 3 phases of training were provided to train typical peers. Results showed increased social initiation and responses made by both students with autism and peers.  View Abstract



Pierce, K., & Schreibman, L. (1997). Using peer trainers to promote social behavior in autism: Are they effective at enhancing multiple social modalities? Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 12, 207‐218.


2 children with autism and 8 typical peers were videotaped during 10‐minute play sessions before, during, and after pivotal response training. Results demonstrated that both the frequency and quality of the language used increased from baseline to post‐treatment, and social conversation among the participants also increased.  View Abstract



Shafer, M. S., Egel, A. L., & Neef, N. A. (1984). Training mildly handicapped peers to facilitate changes in the social interaction skills of autistic children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 17, 461‐476.


A peer‐training strategy consisting of direct prompting and modeling was utilized to evaluate the social interactions between 4 children with autism and their peers. Direct prompting resulted in significant and immediate increase in positive social interactions which maintained across time.  View Full Article



Thiemann, K. S., & Goldstein, H. (2004). Effects of peer training and written text cueing on social communication of school‐age children with pervasive developmental disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 126‐144. 


2 social interventions, peer training and written text treatment, were delivered to 5 children with autism and 10 typical peers. In the first intervention, peers were trained to use 5 facilitative social skills.  Results indicated improvement in initiations and responses. The second intervention introduced direct instruction with written cues, and results indicated increased communication skills.  View Abstract



Wolfberg, P.J. & Schuler, A.K. (1993).  Integrated play groups: A model for promoting the social and cognitive dimensions of play in children with autism.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 23, 467-489.


This multi-dimensional, evidence-based intervention includes practices that are pertinent to the development of social interaction, communication, play and imagination in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The model’s conceptual foundation is discussed in terms of representational and social play patterns and variations of children with ASD as well as developmental and socio-cultural perspectives on play’s prominent role in childhood.  View Website

By signing up for the Private Sessions Program, our Facilitators will collect data once at the beginning of the program and then again at the end to show you the progress your child has made.  We will show you how your child’s social skills have changed as a result of going through our program by giving you an “individualized data profile” at the end of the package.

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