Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School Psychology

First Adviser

Cole, Christine

Other advisers/committee members

DuPaul, George; Harris, Todd; Wood, Brenna

Abstract

In 2013, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that currently 1 in every 50 children is diagnosed with ASD, a level many consider to be an epidemic. Outcomes for children with ASD are variable and are impacted by several factors including the type of educational services they receive. Although inclusive education is viewed as a best practice for children with ASD due to its many benefits, disruptive off-task behaviors of these students often threaten their access to the general education classroom. Peer-mediated intervention (PMI) is an evidence-based strategy that has been shown to have many benefits and few limitations. In the present investigation, a multiple-baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of a simple PMI on the off-task behaviors and work completion of four young elementary-age students with ASD in inclusion classrooms. Results indicated that the PMI resulted in decreased off-task behavior and increased work completion for all four students with ASD. Decreases in off-task behavior generalized to a second non-treatment setting for three of the four participants. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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