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ERIC Number: EJ933020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1362-3613
Yes They Can!: An Approach to Observational Learning in Low-Functioning Children with Autism
Nadel, Jacqueline; Aouka, Nadra; Coulon, Nathalie; Gras-Vincendon, Agnes; Canet, Pierre; Fagard, Jacqueline; Bursztejn, Claude
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v15 n4 p421-435 Jul 2011
Learning by doing and learning by observing are two facets of the tight coupling between perception and action discovered at the brain level. Developmental studies of observational learning still remain rare and even more rare are studies documenting the capacities of low-functioning children with autism to learn by observation. In the first investigation of this question, twenty nonverbal children with autism with a developmental age of 24 and 36 months, and twenty matched typical children, were presented with an experimental box requiring that a hierarchical sequence of subgoals be performed before it could be opened. A 9-day testing procedure included four presentations of the red box and two video demonstrations of how to open it. Two scores were computed, one concerning the number of sub-goals fulfilled and the other the relevant manipulations of the material. Within-group analyses revealed that only the typical children learned partly or fully the sequence of subgoals after the first video-demonstration. The addition of a second demonstration allowed the two subgroups with autism to learn partly or fully the sequence of subgoals. The differences between learning to manipulate and learning to produce a goal are discussed in terms of relationships between understanding actions and understanding action-effect relations. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A