Intersubjective Imitation in Children with Autism: The Relationship Between Intersubjectivity with Joint Attention, Joint Engagement and Theory of Mind
This study aimed to explore the imitation abilities of children with autism that require intersubjective interaction with the person modeling the action. The relationships between these types of imitation with other developmental skills were also examined. Results showed that during the same time point, children that were better at intersubjective imitation tended to be better at joint attention, joint engagement and theory of mind. Joint engagement was also found to be a predictor of success with intersubjective imitation across time. The results also showed that receiving a treatment that focused on joint engagement increased the likelihood of doing better on intersubjective imitation tasks. The findings suggest that joint engagement may be a mediator between receiving joint engagement-based treatment predicting success with intersubjective imitation. Future studies should verify the potential mediator effect found in this study.