Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Sixth Annual Autism Conference; Philadelphia, PA; 2012

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #13
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Peer Network Interventions in Inclusive Elementary School Settings

Saturday, January 28, 2012
2:45 PM–3:45 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Debra M. Kamps, Ph.D.
DEBRA M. KAMPS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Debra Kamps currently hold appointments in the Departments of Applied Behavioral Science and Special Education at the University of Kansas (KU), and is a senior scientist with the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies. She serves as associate director of Juniper Gardens Children�s Project at the Children�s Campus in Kansas City, and as director of the recently established Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training. In 2009, she was awarded the KU Research Achievement Award from the KU Office of Research and Graduate Studies. She has served as principal investigator of 11 projects receiving federal research grants in the areas of autism and emotional and behavioral disorders/risk, and has been publishing her research since 1983. Kamps�s work in the areas of small group instruction and peer-mediated interventions for children with autism has been cited in Educating Children with Autism (National Research Council, 2001), and by the National Autism Standards Project (Luiselli, Christian, Russo, & Wilczynski, 2008). She has conducted three randomized studies including the current project, Peer Networks Project: Improving Social Communication, Literacy, and Adaptive Behaviors for Young Children With ASD, and two investigating multi-tiered interventions for students with behavior problems. Other accomplishments include publications in peer-reviewed journals addressing intervention and education-based research, e.g., Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders; terms as associate editor of four peer-reviewed journals; and national and international requests for training and information regarding social skills and peer networks for children with disabilities.

Beginning in the 1980s our work at the University of Kansas has focused on peer-mediated interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A series of related studies demonstrated that children with autism could learn academic skills in small groups with other students, and social behaviors within social and play groups with peers. Typical programs have included social skills groups, recess and lunch peer networks, and tutoring programs. We have consistently demonstrated that following participation in peer-mediated programs, children with ASD can learn to use similar communication skills and exhibit contextually appropriate initiations and responses during small groups with typical peers. Seventeen single case design studies including 48 participants have been published showing individual treatment gains. The presentation will describe peer networks, settings, and procedures for interventions. We will describe general findings of the research and discuss future directions.

Target Audience:

Certified behavior analysts, behavioral consultants, behavioral therapists, clinicians, educational consultants, psychologists, special education teachers, and individuals working with children with autism or other developmental delays.

Learning Objectives: forthcoming



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