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how to improve DS's joint attention?

(3 Posts)
oodlesofdoodles Sat 15-Oct-11 21:10:17

DS recently had an ADOS assessment, which said that he fails to initiate 'joint attention'. But when we are out and about, if he sees something of interest he will stop and verbally point it out to me. (Non verbal communication is not his strength so he won't point or gesture much). When I told the neurologist this she seemed to respond that his joint attention is stimulated by interesting objects rather than as a way of initiating social contact. Is this making sense?

So I've been looking up Joint Attention and apparently it's very important and can be improved, but I can't find any specific exercises. Does anyone here have any suggestions?

Annawiththebag Sat 15-Oct-11 22:21:18

Hi oodles... You may find Tabletop Identiplay a useful strategy. Basically you need to:

Provide 2 sets of identical toys/activities that you know your DS will find highly motivating. Place both sets on a table divided in two sections with masking tape.
Sit opposite DS
Watch what DS does and imitate this.
Try doing something else with you set and see if DS copies you.

There is an excellent book on this:

Philips, N. And Beavan, L. (2007) Teaching play to children with autism: a practical intervention using Identiplay. London: Sage Publications Ltd. 'Tabletop

Also:
Beyer, J. and Gammeltoft, L. (2000) Autism and play. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

hope this helps.

oodlesofdoodles Sun 16-Oct-11 13:30:21

Thank you Anna, that doesn't sound too daunting. I'm reading Playing, laughing, learning with children on the autistic spectru, which has similar ideas. I'll add those other books to my pile. I seem to spend more time reading about good ideas than putting them into action.

I was also thinking I could try and get him to show a guest (eg granny) a toy and tell her about it, having primed granny that she is to be really excited about what ever he shows her.

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