interactive play, which increased and stabilized responding of the target child. They also trained the target child to use peer-initiating procedures. The second addition had four important effects: maintenance of high rates of social engagement during the reversal phase, a decrease in inappropriate behaviors, normalization of child affect, and maintenance and generalization across peers (but not across settings).
An important feature of these peer-mediated procedures is the use of typical peers rather than adults, because studies have demonstrated that interactions established between children with autism and adults do not easily generalize to peer partners (Bartak and Rutter, 1973). Though they can be highly effective, peer-mediation approaches are complex to deliver, requiring socially skilled typical peers and precise adult control during training of peers, managing and fading reinforcement, and monitoring ongoing child interaction data. However, these approaches are manualized (Danko et al., 1998) and well described in many publications.
Peer Tutoring Using Incidental Teaching McGee and colleagues (1992) trained and reinforced typical peers in an inclusive classroom to use teaching techniques and take turns with their peers with autism in 5-minute teaching segments. The multiple baseline design included both the implementation phase and two fading periods, in which adult prompts to the peer tutors were systematically withdrawn. Results for three children with autism demonstrated long-term (5-month) increases in reciprocal social behavior and social initiations, as well as higher peer acceptance. The typical peers also maintained greatly increased rates of social initiations toward the children with autism across the fading of adult prompts. However, these gains generalized to other times during the preschool day for only one of the three children.
Adult Instruction in Social Games Goldstein and colleagues (1988) taught sociodramatic scripts to two trios of preschool children consisting of two typical peers and a child with social, communicative, and behavioral problems (presumably, autism). Each child was trained in each of three related social role scripts (e.g., cook, customer, and waiter in a restaurant). Following training, child interaction and generalization across settings and other behaviors improved during free play periods at preschool. However, the effects depended on continued teacher prompts in role-playing activities, and they did not result in general increases in social exchanges across the preschool day.
Social Stories Developed by Gray and Garand (1993), social stories involve written narratives about certain social situations that are difficult for the child involved. Since this technique involves the use of print, it is generally targeted for older children with reading skills. The effective-