Joint Attention Examples

Simply, joint attention is a shared experience between you and your child – when you both realize it is a shared experience – even if it is just for a fleeting moment. We need joint attention before we can communicate effectively.

The Official Definition:

Joint attention is the ability to “maintain a common focus with another person on an event in the immediate environment, or on a topic through language. Joint attention communication occurs when signals are used to direct another’s attention to an object or event for the purpose of sharing observations or experiences (e.g. commenting on an object or event, requesting information). “(From The SCERTS Model, Vol. 1, by Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, Laurent, and Rydell, p.313).

Joint Attention Activities:

Note: in this example, the adult has chosen to use the book because the boy likes this book.

Social Stories about the Pandemic – by Carol Gray

For free stories on the pandemic, click here. 

Topics:
-“Some Day – A Story of Hope”
-“Watching a Pandemic on Television”
-” COVID-19: I Can Help! “Father reading bedtime stories to child. Dad putting son to sleep. Quality family time.

Emotional-Regulation

Why Practicing Can Help with Emotional Regulation, by Oregon Behaviour Consultation

  • Being mad “makes us dumb”.
  • Make a plan.
  • Practise to make the best choice ahead of time.
  • Use visual prompts (talk less) to support the person having a hard time.
  • Adjust the plan as needed and practice again.

5 Unhelpful Responses

  • Don’t talk.
  • Don’t try to reason, explain, or lecture.
  • Don’t shout or use a loud or intense voice
  • Don’t respond to oppositional or defiant behaviour.
  • Don’t bring up consequences.

Instead…

  • Use visual prompts.
  • Take a break.
  • Allow thinking time (for both of you) – wait.
  • Use a calm and gentle tone of voice.
  • Allow more thinking time.
  • Have a plan that you have practiced.
  • Be quiet but let them know that this is part of the plan, you are not ignoring them.