Lots of parents (and therapists too!) miss it when a toddler is not exhibiting joint attention. When we talk about what they’re doing, but there’s no response or acknowledgment of what we just said, we should suspect that there’s a problem.
It’s also tricky when we’re working with super active little guys or kids who are intensely interested in “doing their own thing.” Remember – joint attention means BOTH of you know you’re talking about the same thing and are actively sharing the experience.
Here’s the list I use with parents to help them look at their child’s joint attention skills.
Questions to consider:
- Is a child able to listen and respond to you when he’s busy with something else?
- When you point to something, does your child look at it?
- Will your child try to show you things? Does she point to get you to look at something?
- Does she seem too occupied or distracted to listen to you or look at what you’re trying to show her?
- When you show a child something new, is he able to listen to you and turn his attention to include that new thing?
- Do you seem to disappear to the child when you bring out a child’s favorite food, a preferred toy, or some kind of screen?
- Does the child often lock his eyes on the items but never look back at you?
If you answered “no” to questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 or “yes” to 7, there’s reason for concern.
I’ll admit, working on joint attention can be very challenging, but there are effective strategies you can implement TODAY which will make a big difference. Tomorrow I’ll share a few of those!
This is an excerpt from Let’s Talk About Talking. Get your copy today while it’s still in stock!