A comparison of peer-initiation and teacher-antecedent interventions for promoting reciprocal social interaction of autistic preschoolers

J Appl Behav Anal. Spring 1986;19(1):59-71. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1986.19-59.


We compared two procedures for improving the social interactions of three autistic children. In a peer-initiation condition, confederates were taught to initiate interaction with the autistic children. In a teacher-antecedent condition, teachers prompted the autistic children to initiate with confederates, who had been taught to reciprocate. Using an alternating treatment design, differential effects were found. The peer-initiation procedure reliably increased the social responses of the autistic children, whereas the teacher-antecedent condition increased the initiations and responses of the autistic children. In addition, longer chains of social interaction occurred during the teacher-antecedent condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Education, Special*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Social Behavior
  • Stereotyped Behavior