Based on earlier studies, an adult's imitations of the behaviors of children with autism lead to increased social behavior in the children. The present study explored the effects of repeated sessions of imitation. Twenty children were recruited from a school for children with autism to attend three sessions during which an adult either imitated all of the children's behaviors or simply played with the child. During the second session the children in the imitation group spent a greater proportion of time showing distal social behaviors toward the adult including: (1) looking; (2) vocalizing; (3) smiling; and (4) engaging in reciprocal play. During the third session, the children in the imitation group spent a greater proportion of time showing proximal social behaviors toward the adult including: (1) being close to the adult; (2) sitting next to the adult; and (3) touching the adult. These data suggest the potential usefulness of adult imitative behavior as an early intervention.
- Social behaviour
- Still face paradigm
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology