Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Rehabilitation

Advisor

Boyer, Valerie

Abstract

A Child’s language is influenced by their interactions with other typically developing children. However, children with disabilities often have less interaction with typically developing peers. This study looked at using typically developing peers or siblings in therapy in order to facilitate language development, especially pragmatics. Several studies were reviewed including ones that focused on using siblings or peers in therapy with children with Down’s syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and specific language impairment. These studies include various techniques for training and involving the sibling/peer, as well as strategies for therapy. Although results varied among the studies, the overall finding is that use of a peer or sibling in therapy can facilitate language development. These findings support the use of involving siblings and peers in language based activities, therapy, and pragmatic development.

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