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J Commun Disord. 2013 Sep-Dec;46(5-6):495-506. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Promoting child-initiated social-communication in children with autism: Son-Rise Program intervention effects.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Fylde College, Lancaster LA1 4YF, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


This study examined the effects of the Son-Rise Program (SRP), an intensive treatment aimed to improve child-initiated social communication in children with autism. Six children between the ages of 47 and 78 months were provided with 40 h of SRP, with pre- to post-treatment behavioral changes tested using a novel passive interaction probe task. Results showed an increase in the frequency of spontaneous social orienting and gestural communication for the experimental children, compared to six age- and behaviorally-matched control children with autism. In addition, for the children who received treatment, the duration of social dyadic interactions and total time spent engaged in social interaction increased from pre- to post-treatment. These findings suggest that intensive intervention focused on fostering child-initiated interaction increases social-communicative behaviors in children with autism.


Readers will be able to describe the principles underlying the Son-Rise Program, a developmental approach to treatment for autism. Readers will be able to explain the methods of the investigation of a 5-day intensive Son-Rise Program and the results that report change in social communication in children with autism.


Autism; Joint attention; Social communication; Son-Rise Program; Treatment

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