The National Center for Evidence-Based Practice
in Communication Disorders
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Summary of Systematic Review

Increasing Social Interaction among Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities and Their General Education Peers: Effective Interventions
Carter, E. W., & Hughes, C. (2005).
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 30(4), 179-193.

This review meets the criteria for a high-quality evidence-based systematic review.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review states a clearly focused question or aim No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible No
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

Description:
This is a review of empirical investigations on the “the efficacy of interventions directed at increasing social interaction among adolescents with intellectual disabilities and their general education peers in secondary schools” (p. 180). Studies in which the majority of participants were identified as having autism or other disabilities without intellectual disability were excluded.

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:
Question not specifically stated.

Population:
Individuals with intellectual disabilities receiving special education services in the secondary school system.

Intervention/Assessment:
Skill-based interventions were focused on increasing social interaction with peers, whereas support-based interventions were focused on structuring the school environment to support peer interactions.

Number of Studies Included:
26

Years Included:
1975 to 2004

Conclusions:

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Treatment

    • Cognition/Language

      • AAC: Communication Book Instruction 

        • Skill-based and support-based interventions were effective in increasing peer interactions across participants with a range of intellectual disabilities; however, differential effects were noted for several types of interventions by severity.

        • Communication book instruction, social interaction skill instruction, and peer support arrangements were most effective for participants with severe intellectual disabilities, whereas general education participation and the assignment of roles to general education peers was most effective for participants with moderate disabilities (p. 186). 

Social Communication Disorders

  • Treatment

    • Cognition/Language

      • Peer Mediated/Implemented, Pragmatics/Social Skills, Aided AAC: Communication Book Instruction 

        • Skill-based and support-based interventions were effective in increasing peer interactions across participants with a range of intellectual disabilities; however, differential effects were noted for several types of interventions by severity.

        • Communication book instruction, social interaction skill instruction, and peer support arrangements were most effective for participants with severe intellectual disabilities, whereas general education participation and the assignment of roles to general education peers was most effective for participants with moderate disabilities (p. 186). 

Sponsoring Body:
Not stated.

Keywords:
Social Skills, Intellectual Disabilities

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