A SIBLING-MEDIATED BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION FOR PROMOTING PLAY SKILLS IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM A Sibling-Mediated Behavioral Intervention for Promoting Play Skills in Children with Autism

Amy Hansford, Amy Hansford, Sandra Harris
Siblings of children with autism often experience isolation and frustration within the sibling relationship. Studies have suggested that the quantity and quality of interaction between the pair is significantly poorer relative to sibling dyads affected by other developmental disabilities. However, research has shown that siblings can act as effective interventionists for their sibling with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The present study assessed the efficacy of a home-based treatment program to
more » ... each siblings to use three sets of behavioral skills while playing with their brother or sister with autism. In a multiple baseline design across skills, three sibling dyads were trained to a) elicit play and play related speech, b) to deliver reinforcement and c) to prompt the child with autism following an incorrect or non-response. Siblings were also given a target word for each session which they attempted to teach. As evidenced in the completer dyad, siblings successfully acquired these behavioral skills, they maintained over time, and generalized to untrained contexts. Siblings with autism showed increases in responding to and initiating play-based interactions, and one of the children spontaneously verbalized target words. Siblings found the treatment to be acceptable, and parents indicated satisfaction ii with the procedures. These findings support the hypothesis that siblings can utilize behavioral skills to act as effective interventionists in a play setting with their brother or sister with autism. iii