A peer-mediated intervention to develop social and work abilities for adolescents with ASD: Pilot study

Fiorenzo Laghi, Federica Costigliola, Simona Levanto, Orazio Giuseppe Russo, Manuel Michienzi, Maurizio Ferraro


The peer-mediated intervention (PMI) is a very helpful tool in which peers are empowered to act as the intervention agents, implementing instructional programmes and behavioural interventions, and facilitating social interactions. PMI interventions work basically for the ability of peer to model and reinforce appropriate social behaviors of classmates with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Laboratory of Autonomy is a novel intervention school-based program aimed at improving work abilities and social interactions in adolescents with ASD using behavioral strategies in a peer-mediated model. Typically developing peers (N=95) were trained and paired with adolescents with ASD (N=15; the trained peers to adolescent with ASD was essentially 3:1). Social interactions, social skills, adaptive behavior and work abilities were assessed before and after 6-month treatment, using observational procedures and parental measures. Results confirm that work abilities and social interactions increased significantly over the course of treatment. The school may be a fertile ground where adolescents with ASD may experience social interactions in a positive way if structured procedures and training are provided to peers.


Autism Spectrum Disorders; Peer Mediated Intervention; Social Skills; Work Abilities; School.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363