Sibling mediated communication intervention for children with neurodevelopmental disorders
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Neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by impairments of personal, social, academic, or occupational functioning. The range of deficits varies from specific limitations of learning to global impairments of social skills. Individuals who have difficulty acquiring and using language lose opportunities to benefit from basic social interactions such as sharing or other intimate components of peer relationships. Interactions between siblings are viewed as important opportunities to develop skills necessary for communication, socialization and the acquisition of cultural norms. Developing social relationships can be challenging when there is a language or communication deficit present. Delayed or deficient language acquisition affects social relationships and sibling relationships in many ways. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of including a sibling in the intervention package of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. A multiple baseline design was used across three sibling dyads to examine the effectiveness of the intervention. The siblings were taught skills to elicit communication during play. Generalization probes were conducted with one sibling dyad and indicated the sibling was able to generalize the skills in a different setting. Results showed positive increases in communicative interactions between siblings. Ratings by observers who were naïve to the study documented the social validity of the intervention effects and showed positive changes in the sibling's communicative interactions.