Social Peer Interactions in Persons with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities: A Literature Review
Sara Nijs and Bea Maes
Abstract: Social interactions may positively influence developmental and quality of life outcomes. Research in persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) mostly investigated interactions with caregivers. This literature review focuses on peer interactions of persons with PIMD. A computerized literature search of three databases was conducted. Based on specific inclusion criteria eight articles were selected. In these studies, social peer interaction was not clearly operationalized. More interactions with normally developing peers were observed compared to interactions with peers with PIMD. Both groups of peers can be trained to interact or to use technological support systems during peer interactions. After training, interactions with peers increased and interactions with professionals during peer interactions decreased. Interactions with normally developing peers positively influenced specific behaviours of persons with PIMD. Not much research is available on peer interactions of persons with PIMD, especially peer interactions between persons with PIMD remain unclear.