Increasing Joint Attention in Children with Autism and Their Peers
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Joint attention (JA) and peer interactions are significantly impaired in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Empirically demonstrated interventions exist to address JA with adults, but few with peers. Training peers through instructions, modeling (both live and video models), role play, and feedback may help facilitate JA in children with ASD. We examined the effects of peer training with live and video models on typically developing (TD) peer strategies to facilitate JA and JA behavior in children with ASD. TD peers showed some improvement in prompting and reinforcing JA. Children with ASD showed overall increases in JA with trained and novel peers that were also observed by parents, professionals, and peers. Findings are discussed with respect to variables to consider when teaching JA to children with ASD and their peers as well as the need to further examine the relationship between peer training and JA in children with autism.
KeywordsAutism Joint attention Social skills Peer-video modeling
We would like to thank Alysha Rafeeq and Ridda Sheikh for their assistance with this research.
This research was conducted by the first author as part of the requirements for her graduate program in Psychology and supported in part by a Doctoral Student Research Grant from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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