March 14, 2011
Q. My son is 7 now and really has not made any friends. He is mainstreamed into a regular reading group, but he struggles with reading out loud. I thought another student might be able to help him. How do I arrange for this to happen in the school?
A. A “peer buddy” or peer tutor” would be a great support for your son. There is much research on the effectiveness of utilizing peers as buddies and tutors. The benefits to the buddies can be as great as they are for the student who needs additional support. The formal way to arrange for a peer buddy would be to discuss it at your son’s IEP meeting. You can also bring it to the attention of his teacher. The teacher would select the peer tutor(s) (it is sometimes recommended that several peer tutors be assigned) and teach them about their role as a tutor for reading out loud. They can also be taught ways to socially interact with your son. Those strategies can be as simple as setting up the opportunity to play a favorite game of your son’s together. There are many good resources online for teaching classmates how to be peer tutors and buddies. The following link will take you to a review of literature on peer-mediated interventions to increase social skills:
Please login or register before you comment. Click here to login or register.