, Volume 42, Issue 12, pp 2622-2635
Date: 31 Mar 2012

Rating Parent–Child Interactions: Joint Engagement, Communication Dynamics, and Shared Topics in Autism, Down Syndrome, and Typical Development

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A battery of 17 rating items were applied to video records of typically-developing toddlers and young children with autism and Down syndrome interacting with their parents during the Communication Play Protocol. This battery provided a reliable and broad view of the joint engagement triad of child, partner, and shared topic. Ratings of the child’s joint engagement correlated very strongly with state coding of joint engagement and replicated the finding that coordinated joint engagement was less likely in children with autism. Ratings of other child actions, of parent contributions, and of shared topics and communicative dynamics also documented pervasive variations related to diagnosis, language facility, and communicative context.