Lunch Buddies

Teaching Conversation Skills Using the Lunch Buddies Program (2012)

During the 2011-12 academic year, Ivymount School’s Multiple Learning Needs (MLN) Lower School program launched the Lunch Buddies program, designed to improve conversation skills for students with social cognition challenges. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis of baseline and endof-year data indicated growth at individual and group levels in response to the Lunch Buddies program. Considering the fact that participants were able to demonstrate skills in the absence of prompting, and in most cases even in the absence of reinforcement, these findings are highly promising. Team members were unanimous in their assessment of the Lunch Buddies program as a highly effective curriculum for improving students’ conversation skills, increasing independence, and motivating students to engage more frequently and successfully in conversation with their peers.

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Update (Summer 2013): This study appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Autism News, a well-respected national journal for best practices in Autism education. The article: Using the “Lunch Buddies” Curriculum to Teach Conversation Skills to Students with Autism and Other Social Cognition Challenges (pp. 21-26) can be viewed by clicking here.

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