Date of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science in Education in Special Education


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

Committee Chair

Linda Garrison-Kane


autism spectrum disorder, peer network, peer mediation, social interactions, practical setting

Subject Categories

Special Education and Teaching


Social competency is a primary deficit for individuals with autism. Developing peer networks to support individuals with autism has been proven as an effective social skills strategy. This study focused on developing a peer network within a public-school setting to promote increased social communication between a seven-year old student with autism and his typically developing peers. A single-subject multiple baseline design was utilized to analyze the effects of the peer network intervention across three settings. Dependent variables included frequency of social initiations and social responses of the target and network peers. All sessions were video-recorded, and data were collected for all participants. In addition to the quantitative data, the teacher-researcher maintained a research journal and transcribed the video clips, (one session per intervention phase) to provide additional measurable and observable evidence to support the correlated qualitative data. Upon implementation of the peer network, preliminary analysis suggests the target student increased his social initiations from a total of 12 during baseline to 36 and an increase in responses from 29 to 548, respectively. The peer network participants initiated 1349 times and responded 392 times during intervention.


© Marissa Leigh Letterman

Open Access