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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1768–1773 | Cite as

Brief Report: Effect of a Focused Imitation Intervention on Social Functioning in Children with Autism

  • Brooke Ingersoll
Brief Report

Abstract

Imitation is an early skill thought to play a role in social development, leading some to suggest that teaching imitation to children with autism should lead to improvements in social functioning. This study used a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of a focused imitation intervention on initiation of joint attention and social-emotional functioning in 27 young children with autism. Results indicated the treatment group made significantly more gains in joint attention initiations at post-treatment and follow-up and social-emotional functioning at follow-up than the control group. Although gains in social functioning were associated with treatment, a mediation analysis did not support imitation as the mechanism of action. These findings suggest the intervention improves social functioning in children with ASD.

Keywords

Autism Imitation Intervention Social Reciprocal imitation training 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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