Using Parent and Child Input to Inform a Peer-Mediated Intervention for School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Kerr, Michelle
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Mount Saint Vincent University
There is growing awareness of the research-to-practice gap in evidence-based interventions (EBI) for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at school. Peermediated interventions (PMI) are a practical approach for resource-limited schools, and have demonstrated initial efficacy in targeting social-communication impairments of children with ASD. The current study aimed to fill a void in the literature by considering families’ perspectives alongside the development of a school-based PMI for children with ASD. Twenty-two participants (six parents of children with ASD; six parents of typically-developing children; 10 youths with ASD) took part in semi-structured interviews regarding acceptability and feasibility of the proposed PMI. Interview data were analyzed using descriptive content analysis. Participants agreed that components of the proposed PMI were acceptable (e.g., intervention target, grade) and provided advice regarding components of intervention implementation. Their feedback will inform the implementation of a novel EBI for children with ASD in schools.
Autism spectrum disorder , Evidence-based interventions , Peer-mediated interventions