As you may know, an individual living with autism can have difficulty with communication as well as social interaction. With new information on interventions constantly surfacing, it may be hard to make sense of it all. There is one intervention in particular though that may become very helpful for increasing social behavior. The intervention was tested in a study done by Sanefuji, Yamashita, and Ohgami; this study could open doors to creating new techniques for early interventions to increase social awareness for children with autism.
The study focused on a mother and her 21 month old autistic son, and spanned across a 6 month period. The mother was instructed to to spend 5 minutes a day interacting with her child in an imitative way. For example, if the child would bang a toy on the floor, the mother would imitate the same behavior by banging the toy on the floor as well. Of course the mother was instructed by medical professionals on exactly what type of behaviors she must include in the sessions, as well as meeting with them on a monthly basis. The study found that the social ability in the child increased even more than they had expected due to the imitation therapy. Early interventions in children with autism are integral for improvment in behavioral development through out the child's life. If you have a child with autism, it is important to always be aware of new information, and to research interventions that can increase positive behavioral growth.
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Sanefuji, W. Yamashita, H. Ohgami, H. (2009). Shared minds: Effects of a mother's imitation of her child on the mother–child interaction. Infant Mental Health Journal, 30, 145-157