First Advisor

Amy Donaldson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences and University Honors


Speech and Hearing Sciences


Joint attention, Autism spectrum disorders, Interpersonal communication in children, Autistic children -- Behavior modification




Joint attention (JA) is an individual’s ability to share attention on an object or event with another person. JA has been identified as a core deficit for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Prior research has begun to explore how social communication interventions can affect joint attention skills for school aged children with ASD. The study at hand aimed to expand upon this area of scholarship by examining the effects of a social communication intervention, SocialSibs, that combined two evidence-based methods: video modeling (VM); and sibling-mediation; within the framework of Pivotal Response Teaching (PRT). Nineteen sibling dyads underwent the ten-week social communication intervention. Social communication behavior data was collected pre-treatment, post-treatment, and one month after intervention concluded. We found a decline in the frequency of JA behaviors from the end of treatment to the one-month follow up, but no significant change from the pre-treatment assessment to either the post-treatment assessment nor the one-month follow up. The implications for these findings are discussed.


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