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Joint Attention

Joint attention is shared enjoyment between two people observing an object or event.

The child shares attention to the object of interest with you to encourage social interaction and engage in play with others. Establishing joint attention involves the skills of maintaining and shifting attention which is crucial for developing social-communicative and cognitive skills.

When a child improves their joint attention, this allows them to learn how to respond to others and improves social participation to play with others while also helping build relationships.

Strategies to improve joint attention during play:

● Start with copying your child’s gestures and movements until they notice and encourage

them to then copy you.

● Practice imitating fun toys with your child using movements and facial expressions.

● Sing songs and add in actions to do during the song (such as clapping/raising arms) for

your child to copy.

● Engage in a story book together, flipping through the pages and looking at the same

page together

● Roll a ball back and forth to each other

● Work together to blow and pop bubbles

Kidwell, M., & Zimmerman, D. H. (2007). Joint attention as action. Journal of Pragmatics,

39(3), 592–611.

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