The Power of Peer Modeling
The feeling of being accepted by others in general motivates people. The concept of having a peer model can be a powerful experience for children. This interaction will present opportunities to emulate desired interaction. Children learn differently from one another than they do from an adult. This is one of the benefits of a peer model.
A peer model may be beneficial for children who have not developed some of the desired language and/or social skills as age matched peers. At times it can be challenging to find a peer model. Some families choose to have a sibling model target skills. If your child is an only child or if there is a large age gap between the two siblings, you may want to inquire about having a close family friend or neighbor as a peer model.
Having a trained professional to help direct the interaction between the two children can enhance peer modeling. This can be very beneficial because the trained professional can help in the selection of games and topics of conversation that are appropriate for both children. If the trained professional is a speech-language pathologist, the therapist can use various techniques to target language skills to improve the level of interaction with the peer model.
We offer sibling groups, and we have found that working with a sibling is a good way to start working on skills with a familiar person. We have also found that by working with a child individually to target language skills can help the child to become ready to benefit from peer modeling.
We hope that you find these tips helpful. To receive more information or to inquire about therapy for your child please contact us!
We look forward to hearing from you!
Joy Hollander-Fink, MA, CCC-SLP and Jill Hollander, MA, CCC-SLP