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Autism and Joint Attention

Joint attention is the ability of a child to focus attention on another person and an object/activity at the same time and thus share a mutual interest.

In simple terms, joint attention is the child's willingness to share an event or object with another person.


This ability is very important for the child as it contributes to their social development and social interaction with others. By developing it, the child learns that they can use communication to share feelings and experiences and not just to communicate a need, e.g. to ask for an object.


Flora, like many children with ASC, struggles with joint attention. However, we can help develop it through planning targeted group activities.




1. Planning an engaging activity


It is important when planning an activity to make it as engaging as possible. In this way, we can gain the child's attention and interest in seeing what we are doing.

This week we have decided to make our own slime, which can be made quickly so that Flora doesn’t lose her interest and is motivating as she can play with it. More information about the activity can be found here.


2. Demonstrating the activity to the group

The adult demonstrates the activity standing or sitting at a point where all students can see them. Preferably, students sit in a semi-circle.

We recommend that the activity is presented in 5-6 steps so that it is short and the students do not lose interest.

The adult needs to name and point at the objects used for the activity.


3. Demonstrating desired reaction/behaviour

During the demonstration, it is important for the adult to show enthusiasm in order to act as a role model for the students. They need to show excitement and joy but also anticipation. In this way, the student learns ways to express themselves and the importance of sharing their interest with other people.


4. Student's turn

After completing the activity and sharing their interest towards achieving a goal, it is important for the student to interact with the adult or their peers by taking turns playing with the slime.


 

We will share more tips and activities in the future, so keep visiting us.



We are looking forward to hearing your views and experiences.


You can email us at florastophasma@gmail.com.


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