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Sibling interaction of children with learning disabilities: a comparison of autism and downs-syndrome.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1995
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Journal number6
Volume36
Number of pages12
Pages965-976
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Two potentially contrasting hypotheses can be generated about sibling interactions involving a child with Down's syndrome or autism. Research on siblings would predict that learning disabled children adopt responsive roles. Studies of children with autism would predict impoverished interactions. Home observations were conducted on 30 sibling pairs involving children with autism or Down's syndrome. Both hypotheses were partially supported. All learning disabled children engaged in frequent bouts of interaction, usually directed by their sibling. While children with autism engaged in fewer bouts and imitated less, they did reciprocate their siblings' initiations. Sibling encounters provide a unique opportunity for such children to learn about social relationships.