Abstract: Observational learning is the acquisition of new behavior that results from observing the behavior of others and the consequences of that behavior (Catania, 1998). Observational learning has significant educational, economic, and social implications. If children with autism can learn new behaviors by watching others, this could result in a reduction in intensive individual instruction and alleviate financial burdens on families and education providers. Additionally, observational learning can lead to the acquisition of academic and socially relevant behavior and potentially provide individuals with autism more opportunities for inclusion in typical learning and employment environments. An overview of emerging research in the area of observational learning will be presented, as well as clinical applications to improve the observational learning skills of individuals with autism across the age span.
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