Peer Activity

The objective of this activity is to observe peer interactions and play during unstructured and structured (prompted) activities.  We will use two different observation forms during this activity: one is the "Assessment of Play Skills" grid, and the other is the "Peer Activity" form.

Part 1:  Unstructured play (20 min.)  Observe the target child during undirected play.  One group member should complete the "Assessment" form and another should complete the "Peer" form.

Part 2:  Peer training (5-10 min.)  The third group member should provide a brief training session for two peers who will be playing with the autistic student.  The peer training should be presented in the following manner:

1) "Today you have a special job that is to help ____ learn to play."

2) "____ likes to play with ____, _____, and ____ ." (Show objects as you mention them if possible.)

3) "____ doesn't like it when you __________."

4) "What is your special job today?"  "What does _____ like to play with?"  "What doesn't ________ like?"  (Praise correct responses.)

5) "Here are some ideas for getting ______ to play with you:"

a) First get his attention (by standing in front of him and calling his name).

b) Next show him a toy and say "Let's play _______."

c) You may need to show him what to do with the toy (give some examples specific to the toy).

c) Keep on trying, even if he doesn't seem to be interested.

d) Try to get him to play with all of his favorite toys.

6) "What are some good ways of getting him to play with you?"  (Praise correct responses.)

Part 3:  Structured (prompted) play (20 min.)  The same two group members who observed the unstructured session will observe again.  As before, one group member should complete the "Assessment" form and another should complete the "Peer" form.  The peer trainer will remain near the peers and provide prompts and suggestions for what to say and do.  The peer trainer will also reward the peers at frequent intervals for their efforts.

 

Group A

Group B

Trainees

Kathy, Amy Donna

Trainees

Paulette, Missy, Robin

Child

Nathan

Child

John

Trainers

Wendy, etc.

Trainers

Kathy, etc.

 

Peer Activity Discussion Questions

1)  During the unstructured play period, what type of play did the child engage in most often?

 

2) During the unstructured play period, how often did the child:

 

                a) initiate peer interactions appropriately

 

                b) get an appropriate response to his initiations

 

                c) receive appropriate initiations from peers

 

                d) respond appropriately to initiations from peers

 

3)  During the structured play period, what type of play did the child engage in most often?

 

4) During the structured play period, how often did the child:

 

                a) initiate peer interactions appropriately

 

                b) get an appropriate response to his initiations

 

                c) receive appropriate initiations from peers

 

                d) respond appropriately to initiations from peers

 

5) What ideas do you have for how peers can be helpful in improving the socialization skills of children with autism?