Effects of Peer Networks on the Social Interactions of High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

 Karen F. Gardner, Erik W. Carter, Jenny R. Gustafson, Julia M. Hochman, Michelle N. Harvey, Teagan S. Mullins, and Hannah Fan

June, 2014


Supporting social interactions and positive peer relationships is an important element of comprehensive secondary education and transition programming. For many adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), such social connections may be fairly limited apart from intentional programming. We examined the efficacy and social validity of peer network interventions as an avenue for promoting social interactions and social skills for two high school students with ASD. The introduction of peer networks was accompanied by substantial increases in peer interactions for both students. Adult facilitators, peer partners, and students with ASD each considered the intervention to be acceptable and feasible to implement. We offer recommendations for designing social-focused interventions for adolescents with ASD and highlight future research directions.

Available here: http://rps.sagepub.com/content/39/2/100.full.pdf+html


Gardner, K. F., Carter, E. W., Gustafson, J. R., Hochman, J. M., Harvey, M. N., Mullins, T. S., & Fan, H. (2014). Effects of Peer Networks on the Social Interactions of High School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Research & Practice For Persons With Severe Disabilities, 39(2), 100-118. doi:10.1177/1540796914544550