Peer-Mediated Pivotal Response Treatment for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evaluating a Train-the-Trainer Process

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Coveyduc, Kristen
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are known to have difficulties with social communication. These difficulties often become more evident entering school. Peer -mediated (PM) interventions that are developed from Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) are an effective way of teaching children with ASD these skills, as they are able to learn from peers in a natural environment. Implementation of PM-PRT interventions can be difficult at times, often as a result of low feasibility in schools. The current study evaluated a Train-the-Trainer (TTT) model by training educators, specifically Learning Centre Teachers, to implement an evidence-based PM-PRT intervention. Three educator trainers were trained in PM-PRT strategies, which they then taught to three typically developing children, known as peer coaches. Once peer coaches were taught the strategies, each interacted with a classmate with ASD, initially being prompted by the educator-trainer. Educator-trainer participants were provided with both in vivo and written feedback by research staff throughout their training. In order for this PM-PRT intervention to become more feasible in schools, future research should examine modifications, such as reducing the number of sessions.
Autism spectrum disorder, peer-mediated interventions, pivotal response treatment