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Joint Attention…Questions for Parents

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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:

  1. Is a child able to listen and respond to you when he’s busy with something else?
  2. When you point to something, does your child look at it?
  3. Will your child try to show you things? Does she point to get you to look at something?
  4. Does she seem too occupied or distracted to listen to you or look at what you’re trying to show her?
  5. When you show a child something new, is he able to listen to you and turn his attention to include that new thing?
  6. 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?
  7. 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!

 

 

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Laura

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