An area of socialization that develops towards the end of the first year of life is social referencing, wherein infants when confronted with a novel or unusual event, look at an adult, and base their subsequent behaviour on the facial expression of the adult. Social referencing is a preverbal foundational skill that seems pivotal to the development of verbal behaviour, and social and emotional skills in children. In my talk, I will describe (a) what is known so far about social referencing, (b) offer insight into its development over the course of the first two years of life in neurotypical and neurodiverse children, and (c) discuss training strategies to facilitate social referencing in children. Finally, I will also lay out my roadmap to extend this research program and discuss implications for the present state of intervention services.
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