Date of Award

Fall 12-8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Special Education - General Curriculum (Ed.D)



Committee Chair

Kate Zimmer

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Kate Zimmer

Second Committee Member

Melissa K. Driver

Third Committee Member

Katie Bennett


Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can face many challenges, including limited ability in social reciprocity, nonverbal communication, and restrictive and repetitive behaviors and interests as a result of the disorder (APA, 2013). This hinders their ability to build and maintain friendships in the same manner as their typically developing peers and affects their interactions, speech and language abilities, and emotional regulation (Whitman & DeWitt, 2011). Peer Mentors (PMs) are trained to support the development of these skills as part of the Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII) evidence-based practice (EBP). However, and explicit training program is not always evident nor is the opportunity for purposeful practice prior to working with the children with ASD. Further, a gap in literature exists regarding training adolescent PMs. The purpose of this study was to determine if when PMs receive explicit instruction in the reinforcement and modeling with prompting (RaMP) training program they become more adequately prepared to encourage social reciprocity skills from adolescents with ASD. The additional mixed reality simulation (MRS) platform provided the practice component. A multiple baseline single subject design was implemented to determine that the proposed RaMP training program was in fact effective across three PM participants. The study supports the need for an explicit training program for PMs. Each PM not only increased in their fidelity of the RaMP skills, but they also maintained and were able to generalize the skills taught even after the support was withdrawn.