"Peer-mediated approaches have long been utilized to improve the learning outcomes and social interactions of students with and without disabilities..." (Carter & Kennedy, 2006, p. 285).
Educational programming for students with ASD should include goals for improving social competency with both adults and peers (National Research Council, 2001) and peer-mediated interventions are well-documented as an evidence-based practice for students with ASD (National Standards Project, 2010).
The state of Michigan is fortunate to have a comprehensive, well-formulated peer to peer support model, called the LINKS Peer to Peer program, which has been implemented, promoted, and supported by educators, parents, and students for many years. The purpose of peer to peer support programs is to provide increased opportunities for students with ASD to access the general education curriculum and general education students.
"As students with severe disabilities increasingly are spending more of their school day in general education classes alongside their classmates without disabilities, peer-mediated strategies are being recognized as an especially promising vehicle for promoting full participation and success in school" (Carter & Kennedy, 2006, P. 285).
Peers model typical academic and social behavior in educational environments throughout the school day and provide support for students with ASD to promote independence and socialization. Peers, in return, gain increased skills in organization, responsibility, problem solving, decision-making, and accountability (Carter, Cushing & Kennedy, 2009).
In addition to these benefits, the Peer to Peer program addresses the requirements to reduce the number of special education eligible students served in separate learning environments (State Performance Plan Indicator 5). Peer to peer support allows students with ASD to have regular access to the general education environment and curriculum through peer modeling and mentoring, which leads to greater academic and social success across their school day. Peer programs have the potential to increase access for a large number of students who previously had few opportunities in general education settings.
Peer to Peer Program Development Materials
Secondary Peer to Peer
Elementary Peer to Peer
Peer to Peer Training Materials and Information
Benefits of Peer to Peer Support for At Risk Students
Pupil Accounting Information
State and National Peer to Peer Resources and Information
Peer to Peer Logo
Peer to Peer TA Request