top of page

Circle of Friends:

Evidence-Based Practice

Circle of Friends is a highly effective model for strengthening inclusion and social skills for students with special needs.


The following nationally recognized organizations endorse key components of the Circle of Friends approach: working with students in the natural environment with feedback from peers who are trained to model and shape social language skills:

National Autism Center: Circle of Friends meets the criteria for being an Evidence-Based Practice as identified by their National Standards Project. Our program incorporates three established treatments shown to be effective for individuals on the autism spectrum:

  • Peer Training Package

  • Natural Teaching Strategies

  • Modeling

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder: Circle of Friends is well aligned with and supports carryover from Evidence-Based Practices identified through the following:

  • Modeling

  • Social Narratives

  • Naturalistic Intervention

  • Social Skills Training

  • Peer-Mediated Instruction & Intervention

  • Structured Play Group

  • Prompting


Autism Speaks: Circle of Friends strengthens areas that promote a successful transition to adult life. The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit provides research-based strategies useful across all systems to build life skills for community employment. The following four strategies are Evidence-Based Predictors for post-school success:

  • Inclusive Practices and Programs

  • Collaborative Networks for Student Support

  • Social and Social-Emotional Instruction and Skills

  • Self-Determination, Independent Living and Skill Building

NAC 2.jpg
Autism Speaks.jpg

Additional Research

bottom of page