Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities are at risk of isolation from same-aged peers. Furthermore, research indicates that even in inclusive settings, children with ASD benefit from targeted interventions and support. Among the social communication skills that are frequently absent in children with ASD is joint attention. Joint attention can be defined as shared engagement between two individuals on a third object or event and has been identified as potential pivotal skill for later development of age-appropriate social skills and communication. A growing body of literature documents effective intervention on joint attention skill for young children with ASD; however, few studies document the effects of an intervention mediated by a natural change agent. In the present study, independent concurrent multiple-baseline designs were used to evaluate the impact of a joint attention intervention combined with peer training on the response to joint attention (RJA) behaviors exhibited by seven preschoolers with ASD. Results indicated that RJA behaviors increased overall, the seven peers were able to carry out a simple intervention with fidelity, and that both bids from peers and responses to those bids increased following intervention. Limitations and opportunities for future research are discussed.
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