Normal Peer Models for Autistic Children
I found an interesting article published on PubMed Central that I can relate to, and I thought I’d share it with you all. The article titled, “Normal peer models and autistic children’s learning” talks about a study regarding enrolling autistic children into normal classrooms. They discovered that when normal peers modeled the correct way of performing tasks, the autistic children’s response in performing the task correctly increased dramatically.
My son, Benjamin, is a walking case study promoting the benefits of proper peer modeling. Between his older brother, Nicholas, and his school buddy, Trent, the success of Benny’s treatment plan has centered directly on his interaction with amazing young boys and girls.
Below is the abstract published on PubMed Central, along with a link to the article and study.
“Present research and legislation regarding mainstreaming autistic children into normal classrooms have raised the importance of studying whether autistic children can benefit from observing normal peer models. The present investigation systematically assessed whether autistic children’s learning of discrimination tasks could be improved if they observed normal children perform the tasks correctly. In the context of a multiple baseline design, four autistic children worked on five discrimination tasks that their teachers reported were posing difficulty. Throughout the baseline condition the children evidenced very low levels of correct responding on all five tasks. In the subsequent treatment condition, when normal peers modeled correct responses, the autistic children’s correct responding increased dramatically. In each case, the peer modeling procedure produced rapid achievement of the acquisition which was maintained after the peer models were removed. These results are discussed in relation to issues concerning observational learning and in relation to the implications for mainstreaming autistic children into normal classrooms.”
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