Peer Interventions for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in School Settings: Introduction to the Special Issue

Kara Hume

 Federal legislation protects the rights of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to be educated alongside typically developing peers in inclusive settings. The majority of students with ASD are educated with typically developing peers for at least 40% of the instructional school day; however, students with ASD can experience peer difficulties within these settings. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight the role of peer interventions in improving various aspects of functioning for students with ASD. In this article, we introduce and review the evidence base supporting the value of peer interventions for students with ASD. We situate peer interventions within a general multitiered system of support and align interventions in the special issue with each tier. We conclude our introduction by highlighting findings from investigations contributing to the special issue. Across this special issue, the authors identify barriers to implementation of peer interventions within school settings and their potential solutions.