Individualizing Intervention to Teach Joint Attention, Requesting, and Social Referencing to Children with Autism
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Social communication skills such as joint attention (JA), requesting, and social referencing (SR) are deficits in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Shifting gaze is a common response across these skills. In many studies, children respond variably to intervention, resulting in modifications to planned intervention procedures. In this study, we attempted to replicate the procedures of Krstovska-Guerrero and Jones (Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities 28; 289–316, 2016) and Muzammal and Jones (Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities 29; 203–221, 2017) to teach JA, requesting, and SR. In general, intervention procedures consisting of prompting and reinforcement were effective in teaching requesting, SR, and JA skills to children with ASD. However, not all children acquired each skill, and all children required individualized procedures to acquire some skills. We report the process of deciding how to modify intervention and discuss considerations for practitioners when planning intervention that may improve children’s performance.
KeywordsAutism Communication Eye gaze Joint attention Requesting Social referencing
We would like to thank the children and their families who participated in this research project, as well as the research assistants who assisted with data collection and video coding: Adriana Villanueva, Esther Jungreis, Lena Khouri, Jessica Wasserman, and Shoshana Linzer.
This research was completed in partial fulfillment for the degree for Doctorate in Philosophy in Psychology, Behavior Analysis Program.
The corresponding author has received the organization for autism research (OAR) graduate student research grant.
This research was funded in part by the Organization for Autism Research Graduate Research Grant Competition-Lisa Higgins Hussman Donation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The first author has received the organization for autism research (OAR) graduate student research grant. The second author served as mentor on the grant.
The institutional review board of Queens College, City University of New York, approved this study. 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.
Parents provided informed consent.
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