ERIC Number: EJ1101825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Joint Attention Revisited: Finding Strengths among Children with Autism
Hurwitz, Sarah; Watson, Linda R.
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v20 n5 p538-550 Jul 2016
Differences in joint attention are prominent for some children with autism and are often used as an indicator of the disorder. This study examined the joint attention competencies of young children with autism who demonstrated joint attention ability and compared them to children with developmental delays. A total of 40 children with autism and developmental delays were matched pairwise based on mental and chronological age. Videos of children engaging in play were coded for the frequency and forms (eye contact, gestures, affect, etc.) of joint attention. Additionally, concurrent language was compared among children with autism (N = 32) by their joint attention ability. Children with autism spectrum disorder entered into joint attention significantly less often than children with developmental delays, but once engaged used the forms of joint attention similarly. For the matched pairs, there were no differences in language, but the children with autism who used joint attention had significantly better language than children with autism who did not (even after controlling for mental age). There is a group of young children with autism who can use joint attention but do so at lower frequencies than children with developmental delays. Possible reasons include difficulty disengaging attention and limited intrinsic social motivation to share. Adult persistence is recommended to encourage joint attention.
Descriptors: Autism, Attention, Young Children, Developmental Delays, Matched Groups, Mental Age, Age Differences, Video Technology, Incidence, Protocol Analysis, Eye Movements, Nonverbal Communication, Affective Behavior, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Child Language, Ability Identification, Scores, Diagnostic Tests, Observation, Mental Disorders, Rating Scales, Children, Cognitive Ability, Motor Development, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; Childhood Autism Rating Scale; Mullen Scales of Early Learning; Preschool Language Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HD042168|P30HD03110