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ERIC Number: EJ852804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1750-9467
Analysis of Social Referencing Skills among Children with Autism
Brim, Devorah; Townsend, Dawn Buffington; DeQuinzio, Jaime Ann; Poulson, Claire L.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, v3 n4 p942-958 Oct-Dec 2009
Social referencing, a form of nonverbal communication, involves seeking out discriminative stimuli provided by others about contingencies in an ambiguous context in order to respond in a manner that produces reinforcement. Although demonstrated by typically developing infants, social referencing is notably absent or impaired in individuals with autism. In this study, behavioral procedures including verbal, visual, and manual prompting and reinforcement were used to teach four children with autism to exhibit a social referencing response chain composed of an observing response and a conditional discriminative response in the presence of variants of standard academic materials. Observing was defined as looking at the experimenter when presented with unfamiliar handwriting materials, verbal models, and video models. Conditional discriminative responding was defined as completing the handwriting task or imitating the verbal and video models in the presence of a head nod and a smile, and placing the handwriting materials or Language Master cards aside, or remaining seated in a chair in the presence of a headshake and a frown. All four children learned to exhibit social referencing. The ambiguous materials were then interspersed among the standard materials. One of the children showed discriminated social referencing, observing in the presence of the ambiguous stimuli and not in the presence of the standard materials. The other children were taught to discriminate the ambiguous and standard stimuli and to exhibit social referencing only in the presence of the ambiguous materials. The effectiveness of the teaching procedures used is discussed in the context of a learning theory analogue of social referencing. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A