Peer Tutoring for Students with Autism

In this approach, peers learn to use effective teaching techniques and positive reinforcement to teach academic subjects to classmates with autism.
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Tutoring Sessions

Tutoring sessions should be scheduled a minimum of 3 days per week for approximately 30-minute time periods. Sessions should be structured to include both instruction and free play. Free-play sessions generally occur following instruction, thereby providing the tutee with an opportunity to practice social interaction skills.

A typical tutoring session involves the following activities:
  1. The peer tutors arrive and greet the tutees.
  2. The tutors go to the materials area and gather content items.
  3. The tutors and tutees sit at the tutees' desks and begin academic tutoring.
  4. The teacher moves among pairs, providing feedback or assistance as needed.
  5. The tutors collect data on tutees' performance (approximately 5 minutes per student, at least once per week).
  6. At the end of approximately 20 minutes, the teacher announces time for free play.
  7. The tutors return the academic materials and choose a play activity.
  8. The tutors engage in social activity at the tutees' desks or a designated play area.
  9. At the end of approximately 10 minutes of free play, the teacher announces that it is time for the tutors to return to their classes.
  10. The tutors and students with autism say good-bye.

The teacher's role during tutoring and free-play sessions is to monitor each pair, provide feedback to tutors, reinforce desired behaviors, and collect tutoring data. Periodically, the teacher will need to review procedures, organize new academic tasks, or deal with specific behavior issues.

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