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Examples of Joint Attention

(14 Posts)
MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 12:14:14

I’ve been feeling for a little while that something isn’t quite right with DS21 months and having done some research online, I think my concerns are centred around the area of ‘joint attention.’

DS will point to things he is interested in or wants like the fruit bowl or a dog on the street; he will look around at me to see my reaction when he is doing something he knows he isn’t supposed to, like grabbing and running off with the remote control or a pair of glasses, and he brought me some of his fridge magnets the other day just for me to look at them (the first time he ever did anything like that.)

But if I try to engage with him when he is watching a cartoon by saying ‘oh that’s funny isn’t it’, he looks completely blank, if I try to chat to him while he is eating, he completely ignores me, and he doesn’t seem to have any interest in back and forth with toys or playing together with them e.g. if I roll his car over the him he likes that and takes it but wouldn’t then roll it back to me to keep the game going. Should he be doing these things, or am I expecting too much?

tessiebear4 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:53:57

How old is he?

MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 14:14:39

He is 21 months.

mscongeniality Thu 02-Feb-17 15:01:03

It's all so confusing isn't it? My son is also 21 months and does 'joint attention' really well in my opinion. He will roll a car/ball back and forth and will initiate games like this. He brings me things now just to 'give or share' with me without me prompting him and if I put my hand out and ask for whatever he's holding, he will place it in my hand nicely. He wasn't doing much of that even a month ago!

But unlike your son he doesn't point and has no real speech except babbling and 1-2 random words and according to most people that's an issue that something's not right. My son also ignores me when he's focused on other things but funnily enough pays more attention to other people including his dad so I drive myself crazy every day when it's just me and him.

MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 16:07:52

Thanks for your response mscongeniality. It is absolutely so confusing; to me it seems normal that each child develops at their own pace and has strengths and weaknesses at each stage, but then talking to so many people and even reading Mumsnet, it seems that every other child DS's age is doing much more than him!

What age did your DS walk at? Mine was almost 19 months (partly to do with hypermobility I think) so I think he developed his verbal skills pretty well up to then (he has about 20 words and he has started to put his own name before other words to express what he wants), but since he has started walking (tearing around the place!), he hasn't used any new words at all.

Is your DS affectionate? Mine isn't at all, has never given a hug or a kiss.

I was reading a thread last night about an 18th month old who is hard to manage in coffee shops and lots of advice being given about teaching the child not to throw food around and taking their food away if they persist. DS would starve to death if I took the food away every time, and its like he just doesn't register a different tone of voice or my cross face when I 'scold' him for doing it. Short of actually shouting at him, I don't know how to get through to him!

mscongeniality Thu 02-Feb-17 17:24:22

MrsMcKeon your DS sounds exactly like mine. Mine was a premie though, he was born 6 weeks early. Walked at 16 months actual so on the later end too. And he's never been into cuddling! Even as a newborn, it was strange but people have told me some babies are just like that. Now sometimes he will come over and sit on us at his own terms and only wants a quick cuddle if he's ill or hurt himself.

I was reading that food thread too and my son throws everything, not just food. I can't even give him his sippy cup when we're out because he will drink from it and then throw it!!! He's quite immature for his age so I'm hoping he will grow out of it soon!

MommaGee Thu 02-Feb-17 17:40:16

My 20 mo son is a thrower, SALT repeatedly tell me its fine and normal at that age so I refuse to stress, although I do tidy.
Re joint attention, he likes being the centre of attention but he play with others oy to a limited degree. He'll mimic on the drums etc but is more likely to pick the ball up and chew it than roll it back!!
He walked at 16mo but die to surgery didn't walk again until 19 months. No words at all unless i figure out what azhu and uh mean. SALT don't care til two.

I think unless there's obvious learning delays or blatant social stuff like no eye contact its just kids on a continuum of development. Some kids dp stuff earlier and some later. If you're seeing him develop I wouldn't worry too much

HeyRoly Thu 02-Feb-17 17:46:26

Honestly, your boy sounds like my 20 month old boy. He doesn't interact very much - next to no speech (lots of wordless shouting and pointing!), doesn't hug or kiss, doesn't engage in any back and forth play (I've never heard of the term "joint attention" until now!).

Am I worried? No, because he's my second child. If he was my first I'd probably concerned like you are now.

The range of "normal" is just so vast at this age. Please don't worry.

As for that thread, it's full of sanctimonious people with a tenuous grip on reality and parenting a toddler. I wouldn't be able to "teach my DS a lesson" at 18 months, and nor would I have been able to with DC1. Whatever you do, don't take any view expressed on that thread as an indicator of what an 18 month old should be capable of!

MommaGee Thu 02-Feb-17 18:06:44

All our antisocial kids need a play date to ignore each other haha

MrsMcKeon Thu 02-Feb-17 20:38:55

Thanks for the replies everyone, they are very reassuring.

MsCongeniality, its Interesting that your DS was a premie; DS was just a couple of weeks early but he was very reluctant to be born that early and I have often what would have been different if he had been born a few weeks later. We even had him on premie bottles for a while as they were the only ones he could manage but we later put that down to a tongue tie.

It would be very interesting to get them all together and to compare notes smile.

MommaGee Thu 02-Feb-17 20:51:57

DS 5 weeks prem and had A LOT of intervention

mscongeniality Thu 02-Feb-17 21:05:12

Oh wow maybe there is something to it then? I have done lots of reading about late preterm babies and how new research is showing that they might be more at risk of developmental delays than previously thought.

My son is now catching up on all other aspects like fine motor, he is able to feed himself with a spoon now finally. But his communication is quite behind still. Just praying that he just needs a little more time thats all.

MommaGee Thu 02-Feb-17 21:39:54

We were certainly told that because he was ventilated so heavily and for so long that he'd be delayed. He's not nearly as delayed as they suggested.
He walked late cos they kept doing surgery. At 20 months. He's not talking but he says uh and azhu a lot! He can do shape sorters and peg puzzles with the picture behind. He's a full on snoggy lovey baby and has a really funny inwards giggle. He's a tubie with a big food aversion but he loves his dummy. His fine motor skills are fantastic and his gross will catch up.
They're all special in their own way, they're all building their own path x

corythatwas Sat 04-Feb-17 11:40:52

To be fair, OP, most of the advice on that coffee shop thread was not along the lines that you can teach an 18mo to behave in a coffee shop by telling her: it was that if she cannot behave, you must restrain her or take her out. Simply because letting a child run around in that environment risks putting other people, as well as the child, in hospital. The advice to take the food away was also specific to the restaurant setting: doesn't mean the parent had to do it at home.

I was one of the ones laying into the OP, not because I think she has any responsibility to educate her baby (probably not doable), but because I think she has the responsibility to use other ways of ensuring that a baby who is too young to be educated does not put herself or others at risk. It was the helplessness of "but she doesn't do what I tell her so you can't expect me to do anything" that got most people's goat, not some kind of idea that a child that age should do as they are told. Mine were little horrors at that age.

In your case, it may well be that your lo is within the range of normal. Ime the level of interaction is a very individual thing: mine were very inter-active, but my nephew far less so.

Mine also walked late due to hypermobility and were slightly prem: in ds' case that may well have affected other parts of his development (though he's fine now).

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