Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders vol:5 issue:1 pages:89-95
Although imitation problems have been associated with autism for many years, the issue if these problems are a core deficit in autism remains subject of debate.
In this review article, the question if autism imitation problems fulfil the criteria of uniqueness, specificity, universality, persistency, precedence and broadness is explored and discussed.
Findings of this review suggest that there is only partial evidence for the idea that imitation problems are unique, specific and broad to autism, and that these problems are long-lasting and persistent. In addition, imitation problems seem not to be universal in autism at an early age. Mental and motor impairment may affect imitation performance but they do not seem to explain imitation problems in a sufficient way.
Recommendations for clinical practice are formulated.