Imitation and social responsiveness in autistic children

These results suggest that developmental status is an important variable in designing intervention programs for severely impaired children

Geraldine Dawson

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • Fifteen autistic children, ages 4–6 years, participated in the present study
  • Language and social behaviors were observed during free play
  • Children were exposed to three interactive procedures that differed in developmental sophistication
  • It was found that the autistic children who had a low level of imitative ability were more socially responsive, showed more eye contact, and played with toys in a less perseverative manner when the experimenter imitated their behavior than when the experimenter modeled either a familiar or a novel action
  • The autistic children with more highly developed imitation skills, responded to all conditions. They were generally more socially and verbally responsive. These results suggest that developmental status is an important variable in designing intervention programs for severely impaired children

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