Recent government policies mandated inclusion of students with special needs, including students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), into least restrictive classroom settings (No Child Left Behind legislation; U.S. Department of Education, 2002). Inclusion of individuals with ASD presents unique challenges to physical education teachers. First, teachers are required to provide appropriate curricula and more individualized instruction for children with ASD, who often have lower psychomotor (Reid, O'Connor, & Lloyd, 2003) and cognitive skills (Rutter, 2005) than typically developing counterparts. Second, physical education teachers reported they had little preservice preparation and few professional development opportunities concerning inclusion in physical education settings (Block & Obrusnikova, 2007; Hardin, 2005).
To sustain engagement for individuals with ASD, Todd and Reid (2006) recommended, strategies combining external reinforcers, self-monitoring, and verbal cuing. Peer tutoring (PT) has been promoted as an inclusive strategy consisting of these recommended practices. In PT, tutors are required to provide instruction, prompt, or feedback followed by reinforcement. PT studies in physical education with students with disabilities have increased moderate to vigorous physical activity for students who were deaf (Lieberman, Dunn, van der Mars, & McCubbin, 2000); improved correct performance of motor skills for children with developmental disabilities (Houston-Wilson, Dunn, van der Mars, & McCubbin, 1997, Klavina & Block, 2008); and improved learning time of children with moderate-severe developmental disabilities (DePaepe, 1985; Webster, 1987, Klavina & Block, 2008).
One version of PT is Classwide Peer Tutoring (CWPT). In CWPT, the entire class is divided into tutor-tutee dyads, and intervention (i.e., tutoring) is delivered to the entire class at the same time. The tutor typically demonstrates the skill and provides feedback to the tutee, who engages in the instructional task. Students reciprocate roles at accomplishment of the task, or to the teacher's cue (Heron, Welsch, & Goddard, 2003).