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Emily Shurer

EDA 503.90
Article Summary
Full APA Citation:
Banda, D. R. (2015). Review of sibling interventions with children with autism. Education and
Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 50(3), 303-315.
Permanent URL:
Overview of Topic/Article:
The results of this review of several studies revealed that siblings can have positive
impacts on social and communication skills in children with autism. Variations in the methods
and mixed results of the studies that included siblings as passive role models limit the
conclusions. The studies which were reviewed had to meet the following criteria to assure
quality of the study: study design, inter-observer agreement, procedural integrity, social validity,
maintenance, and generalization. All the studies combined had 38 subjects with autism, ages 3 to
15, and 36 siblings, ages 3 to 13. Settings were primarily in homes, but also included school and
daycare. Targeted behaviors for the interventions were social communication skills. The siblings
of the children with autism were trained to perform the interventions. Some examples of
interventions that were taught to siblings to use are prompting, praise, eye contact, and role
Key Points/Findings:

Using siblings as intervention models could have a signicant impact on long-term

relationships, improve family wellbeing, functioning, and long term support and care for

individuals with autism.

It was shown that when typical siblings are provided with training and feedback, they
may facilitate social and communication behaviors in children diagnosed with autism.
Impact of siblings on other behaviors of the child with autism, such as academic,
behavior, self-management, and vocational was not revealed by these studies and more

research is needed.
There was variability across studies, behaviors targeted, methods used, interventions
implemented. The results of the study were that it that it is too early to conclude with
certainty that siblings indeed can facilitate various skills in children with autism.

Implications to Current/Future Practitioners:

Siblings could potentially be useful peer interventionists at home and in other community
settings for children with autism.
Typical siblings of children with autism, when trained using behavioral strategies such as
modeling of target behaviors, providing prompts for appropriate demonstration of
behaviors, fading, reinforcing, and making error corrections, can facilitate social-

communication skills in children with autism.

Professionals should consider training parents in facilitating using strategies, which may
be helpful in improving behaviors in children with autism. Typical siblings may also

learn to use such strategies in to enhance social communication behaviors.

Decisions about use of interventions needs to be made on an individual case basis and
outcomes of these interventions will need to be assessed.