Inclusion of students with disabilities in the ordinary school is one of the most powerful trends in contemporary special education worldwide; its success depends on a number of factors, such as social skills that constitute the focus of the specific chapter. Research indicates that students with disabilities often experience deficits in acquiring and using the necessary social skills to create and sustain positive interpersonal interactions. Social skills interventions can be delivered by students with disabilities themselves, by adult tutors or by peers; the contribution of the latter to the development of social skills will be further explored. Structured interactions with non-disabled peers are considered an effective approach to supporting students with disabilities learn and practice social skills needed for successful inclusion in the school, the community, and the workplace. The aim of this review is to extrapolate the best practices and to identify the major advantages and disadvantages of interventions based on peer tutoring. In order to familiarize the reader with the conceptual framework that the authors use, the chapter will begin with a consensus on the definition of social skills and an overview of the methods of their assessment. This will be followed by a review of peer-mediated interventions aiming at enhancing the social skills of students with various disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities, which constitute the main focus groups of published research. The chapter will conclude with a critical interpretation of the outcomes of peer-mediated social skills interventions for students with disabilities.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Social Interactions in the 21st Century|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2009|