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Imitation in Autism: A preliminary research note
Göteborgs universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5025-9975
Göteborgs Universitet.
Göteborgs universitet.
Göteborgs Universitet. (
1992 (English)In: Behavioural Neurology, ISSN 0953-4180, Vol. 5, no 4, 219-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have claimed that children with autism are poor imitators and a lack of imitative capacity has been included by some investigators as one early sign of autism. Presented here are results from a pilot study focusing on observed imitation after presenting 15 tasks to five children with autism (mental age 25-51 months). Imitation tasks involving simple object manipulation, vocal responses, facial and manual gestures, and object substitution were presented to each child. The performance of the children with autism is compared with (1) three normaI4-year-old children (for all 15 tasks), and (2) observations from 28 healthy l-year-olds (for 10 of the tasks used). The findings indicate that the autistic group displayed the highest level of imitation on object manipulation and vocal tasks while object substitution, facial, and motor imitation acts seemed to be difficult for children with autism. However, the small number of children included as well as the individual variation observed among the autistic subjects precludes any definite conclusions from these pilot observations. It is hypothesized that imitation in children with autism has to be studied separately for different domains and probably also for different subgroups within autistic population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1992. Vol. 5, no 4, 219-227 p.
Keyword [en]
Autism, Imitation, Infants, Preliminary Study, Pre-school children
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Psychiatry
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80879OAI: diva2:548893
Available from: 2012-09-02 Created: 2012-09-02 Last updated: 2013-09-12

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Heimann, Mikael
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