Joint Attention

Evidence-Based Interventions

Joint attention occurs when two people share interest in an object or event and there is understanding between the two people that they are both interested in the same object or event.

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· Child’s eye gaze follows adult’s eye gaze

· Child prompts someone to look at an item

· Child shows an object to another person, or responds when prompted to look at an item (pointing with the intention of showing, not requesting)

· Child points to an object, or responds when an adult points to an object

· A child and adult watch an activity together and look at the response of the other person

Prior to teaching, it is important to decide if the goal is to teach the child to initiate an interaction or to respond to a bid from others.


Toys on the Table

1. Set a few electronic toys on a table and sit next to the child

2. Placing your hand close to the child’s face, point to one of the toys

3. Using your finger, guide the child’s eye to the toy

4. Press the switch/button and make the toy “work”

Reading a Book

1. Sit down next to the child with a book in front of both of you

2. Take your child’s finger and point to pictures in a book as you say the name of the picture

3. Add sound effects and/or an expressive tone of voice to keep the child engaged

Look in the Dark