Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, Developmental Psychology
Current Areas of Research:
Most children with autism find it difficult to include their parents when playing with a toy. For example, children with autism rarely approach their parents to show them the toy they like best. Similarly, children with autism rarely interrupt their activity to check if their parent enjoys the toy as much as they do. My research addresses two related questions: First, what are the developmental consequences of these deficits for the social and language development of children with autism. Second, what can parents do to help their children manage a shared interest in a toy more effectively? My ongoing work includes a randomized treatment study, designed to test the effectiveness of an innovative parent education program that targets children's communication skills in the context of parent-child play interactions.
Siller, M. & Sigman, M. (2002). The behaviors of parents of children with autism predict the subsequent development of their children’s communication. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 77-89. (Translated and reprinted in R. Takagi, P. Howlin, & E. Fombonne (Eds.), Advances in Research on Autism and Developmental Disorders, pp. 104-117, 2004, Japan: Seiwa Shoten)
Siller, M. & Sigman, M. (2003). The origin of language: Evidence from longitudinal research in autism. Journal of Developmental and Learning Disabilities, 7, 1-18.
Siller, M. & Sigman, M. (2004). From neonatal imitation to social cognition: Social and cognitive pathways to developmental continuity. In L. A. Leavitt & D. M. B. Hall (Eds.), Social and moral development: Emerging evidence on the toddler years. New Brunswick, NJ: Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute.
Psych 390.67/ 680.57: Special Topics: Development of Children with Autism