Overview of Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII)
Peer-mediated instruction is used to teach typically developing peers ways to interact with and help learners with ASD acquire new social skills by increasing social opportunities within natural environments. With PMII, peers are systematically taught ways of engaging learners with ASD in social interactions in both teacher-directed and learner-initiated activities (English et al., 1997;Odom et al., 1999; Strain & Odom, 1986).
PMII meets criteria for being an evidence-based practice within the early childhood and elementary age groups for promoting communication/language and social skills. Only one study met criteria in the middle/high school age group.
With what ages is PMII effective?
PMII can be implemented with pairs or small groups of learners across the age range. With
young children (i.e., 3 to 8 years of age), practitioners can use peer-initiation training to help
learners with ASD acquire communication/language and social skills. Social networking
strategies are more appropriate for older learners (i.e., 9 to 18 years of age). PMII has been
shown to have positive effects on academic, interpersonal, and personal-social development,
and may be the largest and most empirically supported type of social intervention for learners
with ASD (Bass & Mulick, 2007; Maheady, Harper, & Mallette, 2001; McConnell, 2002).
What skills or intervention goals can be addressed by PMII?
PMII targets social skills that include the following: responding to others, reciprocity,
understanding others, and interacting with others or in groups.
In what settings can PMII be effectively used?
PMII has been used effectively in clinical and school-based settings across preschool to high
school age groups. PMII is intended to be used as part of the daily curriculum through a balance
of teacher-directed and learner-initiated interactions and activities.