NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED519613
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 92
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-7776-5
Joint Attention Revisited: Examining Heterogeneity among Children with Autism
Hurwitz, Sarah
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Joint attention has long been considered absent or deviant in children with autism. Although this deficit is seen, there is variability in joint attention within the population and some children with autism employ it. Little is known about the profile of joint attention skills of these children or how joint attention use affects concurrent language. The present investigation examines the subgroup of children with autism who use joint attention and compares them both to children with autism who do not use joint attention and to pair-wise matched children with developmental disabilities. Two analyses were undertaken: Study 1 compared subgroups of children with autism (MA less than or equal to 30 months). Thirty-two children with autism (16 with joint attention skills and 16 without) of similar age (M = 43 months) and nonverbal MA scores (M = 17 and 13 months, respectively) were examined. The results of Study 1 indicated that children with joint attention skills had significantly higher concurrent language scores than those without. Study 2 compared 20 pairs of MA-matched children (20 children with autism and joint attention and 20 with developmental delays). Videos were coded for initiation and response to joint attention and many of its forms. The results from Study 2 showed that once engaged in joint attention bids, both groups used the forms in similar ways; no differences were found in point, show, other gestures, eye contact, affect, nor toward whom the bid was directed. Conversely, children with autism initiated significantly less frequently and adults offered them more bids in order to engage them in joint attention. Concurrent language scores of the matched groups were not significantly different. This investigation demonstrates that there is a subgroup of children with autism that uses joint attention. They use the forms in similar ways to children with developmental delays but engage in bids less frequently. Possible reasons for fewer bids are that children with autism are not intrinsically motivated to participate in social sharing and they have difficulty disengaging from a current focus of attention. Intervention recommendations include a goodness-of-fit model employing joint attention intervention for children from the lowest ability group and social/language interventions for others. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A