Early Interests and Joint Engagement in Typical Development, Autism, and Down Syndrome

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Lauren B Adamson
Deborah Deckner-Davis
Roger Bakeman
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
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Systematic longitudinal observations rating were made of typically-developing toddlers and young children with autism and Down syndrome to characterize their interests in familiar and unfamiliar people and objects. Results reveal meaningful individual differences in interests and that diagnostic status is associated with these differences. Results also establish that the familiarity of a target is an important dimension to consider and that there are subtle but distinct differences in how children from the three groups modulated their interests. Study findings also illustrate that individual differences in interest are moderately enduring, and that there are meaningful shifts in interests over the year of observations. Results are discussed with respect to implications for intervention and general developmental patterns.
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