(Source: Gloucester County Times. Photo by Lori M. Nichols)

Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery but to a child with autism it might be so much more. Early childhood special education research indicates that teaching young children with autism to imitate others might help develop other social skills, too.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Brooke Ingersoll, PhD in a press release. “I think we, as a field, are getting a much better idea of what autism looks like in infants and toddlers than we did even five years ago.”

Research highlights importance of early childhood special education

Ingersoll analyzed children with autism between the ages of 27 months and 47 months. As published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Ingersoll found that young children with autism who were taught imitation skills made more attempts to draw the teacher’s attention to an object through gestures and eye contact, both social skills in which children with autism often struggle.

Special education curriculum uses music’s proven methods

ABC Music & Me, our early childhood special education curriculum, uses music to teach children of all abilities, including autism, early literacy and language, social and emotional skills, and to strengthen fine and gross motor skills, and more. Special education teachers who use ABC Music & Me see firsthand how music can help non-verbal children make noises for the first time or help children interact together in the classroom. Plus, activities in class often include opportunities for children to imitate the teacher.

Our special education curriculum includes a supplemental strategies guide, Meeting Special Needs, which suggests activity adaptations for children with particular needs or impairments. Plus, we include IEP objective descriptors for easy cut-and-paste and IEP skills booster index.

For more information about using ABC Music & Me as an early childhood special education curriculum, email us at info@abcmusicandme.com.

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