Print Сite this

Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication

Introduction

A trend that has developed in recent years is the inclusion of children with special needs in settings where they can interact with their peers (that are exhibiting signs of normal development). Such a direction has resulted in the inclusion of children with autism disorders in elementary schools. As a result of such a kind of an environment whereby children with autism disorders are presented with an opportunity to interact with their normal peers, there has been a consequent increase in the adoption of peer-tutoring as a way of mitigating the negative effects of autism disorders in the development of the affected children. As it will be seen here, though a host of challenges have been met while implementing the peer-tutoring technique (as a way of helping children with autism disorders), peer-tutoring has been fruitful in helping children with autism disorders to improve in the development of their social and communication capabilities.

Our experts can deliver a customized essay
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
308 qualified specialists online
Learn more

Overview of Autism and Inclusion in Education

Definition and Classifications of Autism Disorders

Autism disorder can be defined as a condition that impacts negatively on a child’s ability to develop in the areas of communication, socialization and learning among others (Friedlander, 2009). Socially, children with autism disorder are unable to interact with others or even create personal relationships of friendship (Friedlander, 2009). When it comes to communication, large percentages of children with autism disorders are unable to construct coherent verbal speeches (Friedlander, 2009).

Most children with autism disorders have low degrees of intelligence and therefore, an inability to understand basic things (Friedlander, 2009). Such incapacity to understand basic things is driven by an inability of children with autism syndrome to react to environmental cues conventionally (Friedlander, 2009). There is however a variation on the effect of Autism disorder on the areas that have been mentioned above depending on the severity of the autism disorder that is present in a given child (Friedlander, 2009).

Since Autism is a word that is used in a general way to refer to a collection of related conditions with basic characteristics that have been described above, it is important to consider each of the specific conditions in isolation for a clearer understanding of the disorder (Autism Disorder). One common type of autism disorder is autistic disorder (Ryan et al., 2011). Here, a child is completely unable to communicate through verbal speech. Besides, children with this (autistic) disorder exhibit a low degree of intelligence and are therefore categorized as intellectually incapable (Ryan et al., 2011).

Unlike their counterparts with the autistic disorder, children with what is referred to as the Asperger’s syndrome have no inabilities in developing verbal communication, but have a weakness in developing and understanding nonverbal communication; hence, they are unable to interact normally with others (Ryan et al., 2011). Another type of autism disorder (unique to males) is what is referred to as Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) (Ryan et al., 2011).

Children with CDD encounter a period that is marked by autism conditions after showing a period of normal growth (mainly before attaining the age of three years) (Ryan et al., 2011). All the common conditions that are present in autism disorders including motor and communication inabilities are present in CDD (Ryan et al., 2011). On the other hand, Rett disorder is a type of autism that results in the onset of autism conditions in females after a period of relatively normal development (common before one is six months old) (Ryan et al., 2011).

Common characteristics of the disorder include swelling of the head, loss of verbal communication, and hand movement inabilities among other signs (Ryan et al., 2011). Another classification of Autism disorders is what is referred to as Pervasive Development Syndrome Not Otherwise Specified (Ryan et al., 2011). Here, a child exhibits at least one characteristic that is inherent in one of the types of autism that have been described above; with a lack of a threshold characteristic for classification in a specific group (Ryan et al., 2011).

On-Time Delivery! Get your 100% customized paper
done in
as little as 3 hours
Let`s start

Common Communication and Socialization Characteristics Present in Children with Autism Disorders

Generally, as it has been seen earlier, common characteristics that are inherent in children with autism disorders affect developmental areas of cognition, socialization, and communication (Ryan et al., 2011). As it touches on socialization, apart from having an inability to easily form relationships with others, children with autism are unable to pick conventional cues from their environment; thus, they are unable to relate with others in a conventional manner (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Moreover, children with autism disorders are unable to develop verbal and/or nonverbal communication; thus, preventing them from expressing themselves and understanding their environments (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006).

Benefits that are accrued to Learners with Autism Disorders through Inclusive Education

As it has been seen time and again, inclusive education accrues a host of benefits to children with autism disorders. Although children with Autism disorders exhibit weaknesses in areas of motor, socialization, verbal and nonverbal communication, they have been able to show marked improvement in the mentioned areas of development as a result of inclusive education (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Such an observation has been made from various studies including one that was conducted by Ayvazo Shiiri and Ward Philip (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006).

In their study, Ayvazo Shiiri and Ward Philip zeroed on one among several schools in the USA that have focused on inclusive education implementation (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). In this particular case, the school was subdivided into several classrooms that had an average of nine normally developing children and about six children with autism disorder (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). In their study, Ayvazo Shiiri and Ward Philip designed what they called ‘catches’ to document the benefits of inclusive education on children with autism disorder (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006).

‘Catches’ composed an achievement of an array of tasks that had been given to children with autism disorder (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Such tasks that composed ‘catches’ included activities such as an ability to successfully hold a ball above one’s head with one hand, and also with both hands (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Successful ‘catches’ were noted for each of the students with autism during the study (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Here, the same tasks were concurrently given to other students that had normal development.

The study was thus divided into a session of activities whereby teachers were employed to give a series of ‘catches’ to the students (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). After each of the sessions, teachers documented and relayed results to the researchers (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Following this study, it was observed that all the students in the study with autism disorders progressively improved in achieving correct ‘catches’ (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). As it was observed, such a direction was also helpful in enhancing social interactions and thus developing communication between children with autism disorders and their peers.

Besides, an element of building confidence was noted in children with autism disorders as they cumulatively achieved the range of tasks that had been assigned to them (Bass, 2007). Therefore, it can be seen that inclusive education is beneficial to children with autism disorders in the areas of motor development, enhancement of communication abilities, development of esteem and also in the development of interaction abilities (Bass, 2007).

Background of Peer-Tutoring Methods

How Peer-Tutoring Methods are Used in the Teaching of Skills to Elementary School Children

Considering that many children with autism disorders are unable to interact appropriately with their peers resulting in underdevelopment, one of the methods that can be employed to enhance the development of social interrelationships for children with autism disorders is the use of peer-tutoring (Peturdottir et al., 2007). As it can be deduced from the name, in peer-tutoring, children with autism disorders are educated by their peers on the areas of their deficient areas (social development areas) (Owen et al., 2008).

We’ll deliver a custom paper tailored to your requirements.
Cut 15% off your first order
Use discount

Here, children are placed in pairs whereby a group of tasks is implemented with alternating roles between the children (Peturdottir et al., 2007). Such an approach can be employed in enhancing basic communication abilities in children with autism disorders that are undergoing elementary education (First and second-grade students) (Peturdottir et al., 2007). A typical peer-tutoring session would involve a process whereby students with autism disorders are inter-mingled with normal children; thus, allowing them to be placed in pairs for implementing assignment activities (through the help of their peers) that have been precisely designed to enhance motor and communication development (Kohler, 2007).

During peer-tutoring, the emphasis is placed on the initiation and reinforcement of social interrelations between children with autism disorders and their normal counterparts (Kohler, 2007). Such a direction has arisen from a recognition that it is not possible to enhance the social skills of children with autism disorders by the mere placement of such children in an environment that consists of children that are undergoing normal development (Kohler, 2007). As has been observed, many kindergarten children with autism disorders are normally misunderstood and avoided by their peers (those that are undergoing normal development) (Owen et al., 2008).

How Peer-Tutoring Techniques Impact on Second Grade Learners with Autism Disorders

Employing peer-tutoring methods as a means of helping children with autism disorders improve in the areas of their deficiencies (Communication, motor, and social development) can be expected to contribute to several effects on such learners (Licciardello et al., 2008). One area where peer-tutoring methods have impacted positively on children with autism disorders includes social development (Licciardello et al., 2008).

Such an observation has been made from several studies including one that was undertaken by Mulick James and Bass Jennifer (Bass, 2007). In their study, Mulick and Jennifer observed that it was in a well developed and controlled inter-social interaction between children with autism and their normal peers, there was a significant improvement in the social skills of children with autism disorders (Bass, 2007).

Among important parameters that need to be present in such kind of a setting include the following: a relative degree of freedom where there is no overregulation by tutors, a series of social activities where incapable and weak children with autism disorders complement the roles of normal children in play activities, a setting where children with autism disorders have been accepted and understood by their normal peers (Licciardello et al., 2008). However, as was observed in the study described above, it can be difficult to make a positive impact on children with autism disorders as a result of some factors. For example, overregulation of interactive sessions and a lack of a professional and structured program of activities can result in more degeneration of the social skills of children with autism disorders (Sperry et al., 2010).

When it comes to the development of communication skills in children with autism disorders, there has been no clear direction on the effects of implementing peer-tutoring as a way of enhancing the same (Sperry et al., 2010). Such an observation was made in a study that was conducted by Horner Kathy (Laushey & Heflin, 2000). Here, although several second-grade children with Autism disorders showed some improvements in their verbal skills following the intervention of peer-tutoring, the same could not be said of all the children with autism disorders in the study (Laushey & Heflin, 2000).

One of the reasons that can be used to explain such a kind of behavior is the complex nature of peer-tutoring; which requires a well developed and monitored system of inter-social interactions between children with autism disorders and their peers for enhancement of communication skills to occur (Laushey & Heflin, 2000). Besides, it is important to note that to some extent, each of the children with the autism disorder condition may require a unique environment to show improvements in areas such as that of communication (Laushey & Heflin, 2000).

Still, considering the obvious positive impact in social development that is generated in children with autism disorders through peer-tutoring, peer-tutoring helps enhance communication skills in children with autism disorders (Kamps et al., 2002). Moreover, a positive environment of peer-tutoring helps develop confidence and esteem in children with autism disorders (Kamps et al., 2002).

For only $13.00 $11.05/page
you can get a custom-written
academic paper
according to your instructions
Learn more

As has been observed in several studies including the one that has been described above, positive indications of self-confidence such as s the development of eye contact behaviors have been observed in children with autism disorders as a result of peer-tutoring (Thiemann & Goldstein, 2004). However, it is important to note that mingling normal students with those that are showing signs of disorders such as autism disorders presents a complex kind of a scenario that needs to be controlled by an informed adult. (Jones, 2007)

The Impacts of using Peer-tutoring on second-grade classmates of children with autism disorders

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in inclusive learning whereby children with disorders such as autism disorders have been mingled with fellow students that are exhibiting normal signs of development (Kamps et al., 2002). Such a direction has also been observed for second-grade elementary learners (Kamps et al., 2002). As it has been observed, without proper control, second-grade learners with autism disorders can be easily misunderstood and even be mistreated by their classmates (Maione & Mirenda, 2006).

A successful peer-tutoring environment should, therefore, help enable normal learners to accommodate their peers with autism disorders (Harper et al., 2008). As it is commonly noted, classmates of children with autism disorders are normally reluctant to interact with their special peers (Maione & Mirenda, 2006). Such a setting can be exacerbated by the mistreatment of children with autism disorders by their normal counterparts (Whitaker, 2004). Even during peer-tutoring, many classmates of children with autism disorders have shown to reluctantly interact with their special peers under the prompting of adults (Whitaker, 2004).

In some cases, however, a free environment where normal children are encouraged to interact with their special peers exists (Whitaker, 2004). Several studies including one that was undertaken by Kamps Debra have shown that such natural sessions of interaction derelict of adult promptings are more beneficial to students with autism disorders as well as their peers (Kamps et al., 2002). Here, normal learners are thus able to appreciate and accommodate special learners with autism disorders (Kamps et al., 2002).

Moreover, several studies including the one that has been done by Kamps Debra have shown that normal children that tutor their counterparts with autism disorders in inclusive education setting have been able to develop special abilities such as the sharpening of their nonverbal communication skills (Kamps et al., 2002). However, it needs to be noted that even for second-grade learners, a peer-tutoring environment is susceptible to manipulation and mistreatment from peers that may remain averse to their colleagues with autism disorders (Jones, 2007).

The impact of peer-tutoring on the teachers of students with autism disorders

As can be expected, the implementation of peer-tutoring techniques as a way of reversing the negative impacts of autism disorders on affected children has presented an array of challenges to the teachers of students with autism disorders (Kalyva & Avramidis, 2005).

Having noted that second-grade learners with the autism condition are normally misunderstood, and are vulnerable to unfair treatments from their classroom colleagues exhibiting normal development, teachers of learners with autism disorders are responsible for protecting learners with autism disorders (Kalyva & Avramidis, 2005). Such a scenario is even more complex for inclusive education teachers that are exploring peer-tutoring as a way of mitigating the effects of autism disorders on affected learners (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006).

This complexity arises from a need to create a natural environment of interaction that is helpful for fruitful peer tutoring (Ayvazo & Ward, 2006). Therefore, one has to protect the wellbeing of special learners with autism disorders from the intrusion of hostile normal learners in addition to stimulating natural inter-social interactions between special learners and normal learners at the same time. Therefore, successful implementation of peer-education requires a caliber of teachers that are both talented and knowledgeable in peer-tutoring (Harper et al., 2008).

Conclusion

To empower every individual to live a fruitful and productive life, one of the channels that are being explored in this direction is inclusive education. Considering the importance of communication and social skills in the development of a person, the focus of this paper has been on the positive outcomes that can arise from the employment of peer-tutoring techniques in educating second-grade students with autism disorders. As it has been seen, the employment of peer-tutoring in the education of children with autism disorders helps empower such learners to enhance their incapacitated social and communication skills. However, considering the complexity of implementing peer-tutoring techniques, there is a necessity to design a comprehensive and effective peer-tutoring tool; to ensure that peer-tutoring tools are effective.

Reference List

Ayvazo, S. & Ward P. (2006). Class wide Peer Tutoring in Physical Education: Assessing its Effects on Kindergartners with Autism Adapted Physical Quarterly, 23, 233-44

Bass, D.J. (2007). Social Play Skill Enhancement of Children with Autism Using Peers and Siblings as Therapists Psychology in the Schools 44(7), 213-44

Friedlander, D. (2009). Sam Comes to School: Including Students with Autism in Classroom British Journal of Special Education 31(3), 115-26

Harper, B. C, et al. (2008) Recess is Time-in: Using Peers to Improve Social Skills Of Children with Autism Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 38.2, 815-26

Jones, V. (2007) ‘I felt like I did something good’ – the impact on Mainstream pupils of a peer tutoring program for Children with autism. British Journal of Special Education 24(1)

Kalyva, E., & Avramidis E. (2005) Improving Communication between Children with Autism and Their Peers Through the ‘Circle of Friends’: A Small-scale Intervention Study Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 18, 253-61

Kamps, D., et al. (2002) Peer Training to Facilitate Social Interactions for Elementary Students with Autism and their peers Council of Exceptional Children, 68.2, 173-187.

Kohler, W. F. (2007). Using a Buddy Skills Package to Increase the Social Interactions between a Preschooler with Autism and Her Peers TECSE 27(7), 155-163.

Laushey, K., & Heflin J. (2000) Enhancing Social Skills of Kindergarten Children with Autism through the Training of Multiple Peers as Tutors Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 30 (3), 231-44

Licciardello, C. C., et al. (2008). Social Skills Intervention for Children with Autism During Interactive Play at a Public Elementary School Education and Treatment of Children 31(1), 53-59

Maione, L. & Mirenda P. (2006) Effects of Video Modeling and Video Feedback on Peer-Directed Social Language Skills of a Child with Autism Journal of Positive Behavior Inventories 8 (2), 106-118.

Owen, S. J., et al. (2008). Promoting Social Interactions between Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Peers in Inclusive School Settings Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disorders 23 (1), 15-28.

Peturdottir, A., et al. (2007). The Effects of Scripted Peer Tutoring and Programming Common Stimuli on Social interactions of a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40, 353-357.

Ryan, H. et al (2011). Research-Based Educational Practices for Students with Autism: Spectrum Disorders Teaching Exceptional Children 43(3), 56-64.

Sperry, L., et al. (2010). Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention Strategies for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Preventing School Failure, 54.4, 256-264.

Thiemann, S. K., & Goldstein H. (2004). Effects of Peer Training and Written Text Cueing on Social Communication of School-Age Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Journal of Speech, language, and Hearing Research. 47, 126-144.

Whitaker, P. (2004). Fostering communication and shared play between mainstream peers and children with autism: approaches, outcomes and experiences. British Journal of Special Education 31.4.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2020, October 9). Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/peer-tutoring-and-autistic-students-communication/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2020, October 9). Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication. https://studycorgi.com/peer-tutoring-and-autistic-students-communication/

Work Cited

"Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication." StudyCorgi, 9 Oct. 2020, studycorgi.com/peer-tutoring-and-autistic-students-communication/.

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication." October 9, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/peer-tutoring-and-autistic-students-communication/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication." October 9, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/peer-tutoring-and-autistic-students-communication/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2020. "Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication." October 9, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/peer-tutoring-and-autistic-students-communication/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Peer-Tutoring and Autistic Students’ Communication'. 9 October.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.