Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Parent Responsiveness to Children at Risk of ASD

Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102198-2


Marisa claps as her toddler, Stela, fits a star into the shape sorter. “Star!” Marisa says. Marisa offers her daughter another shape, but Stela shakes her head and pats the music player.

“Ah!” Stela says, glancing at her mother.

“Music?” Marisa asks. Stela grins at her, giggling. “Okay!” Marisa says. “Here’s the music!” She turns on a collection of children’s songs, singing as Stela dances to the music.

This interaction provides several examples of parent responsiveness. Parents demonstrate “responsiveness” when they: (1) recognize their child’s current focus of attention and (2) quickly respond to that interest in a positive and meaningful way, such as by playing with or talking about the child’s interest. Other qualities of “responsiveness” include being affectionate and animated, offering praise and encouragement, sharing control of the interaction, taking conversational or play turns, and interacting within or slightly above the child’s current developmental level. When...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA