Using Single and Multiple Peers to Promote Social Interaction of Preschool Children with Handicaps

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An alternating treatment design, nested within a withdrawal of treatment, single-subject design was used in this study to examine the differential treatment effects of employing single and multiple peers to promote the social interactions of two handicapped preschoolers. During a baseline phase, few social interactions occurred for the handicapped children. As single and multiple confederate peers (in different intervention sessions) directed social initiations to the handicapped children, the social responses of those handicapped children increased substantially. Spontaneous social initiating also increased, to a lesser extent than social responding, for one of the handicapped children. Social responses decreased for both children during the withdrawal of treatment phase of the study, and increased again during the final intervention phase. Differential treatment results were generally not found. Both types of peer-initiation interventions produced marked increases in the handicapped children's social interactions with nonhandicapped peers.

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