A Parent-Implemented Playdate Intervention for Young Children With Autism and Their Peers

Tracy J. Raulston, Sarah G. Hansen, Rebecca Frantz, Wendy Machalicek, Naima Bhana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with social skills difficulties, which can create barriers for them to develop friendships with their peers. Playdates are a common way that young children practice play and friendship skills in home and community environments. Few studies have trained parents to embed social skills instruction into playdates for children with ASD, and such studies have been comprised of children with mild to moderate needs. In the current study, we employed a concurrent single-case multiple probe across three parent–child–peer triads design to evaluate the effects of training and coaching in a parent-implemented playdate intervention on parental strategy use and cascading effects on child–peer social interactions during playdates. Parents also rated the social validity of the intervention. Results indicated that two of the three parents reached criterion on the strategies quickly, and the third triad required a procedural modification. Challenging behavior appeared to be a barrier to implementation. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-320
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • autism
  • parent-implemented
  • playdate
  • social skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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