Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 1562–1575

Promoting Joint Attention in Toddlers with Autism: A Parent-Mediated Developmental Model

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0290-z

Cite this article as:
Schertz, H.H. & Odom, S.L. J Autism Dev Disord (2007) 37: 1562. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0290-z


Joint attention, a foundational nonverbal social-communicative milestone that fails to develop naturally in autism, was promoted for three toddlers with early-identified autism through a parent-mediated, developmentally grounded, researcher-guided intervention model. A multiple baseline design compared child performance across four phases of intervention: focusing on faces, turn-taking, responding to joint attention, and initiating joint attention. All toddlers improved performance and two showed repeated engagement in joint attention, supporting the effectiveness of developmentally appropriate methods that build on the parent–child relationship. A complementary qualitative analysis explored family challenges, parent resilience, and variables that may have influenced outcomes. Intervention models appropriate for toddlers with autism are needed as improved early identification efforts bring younger children into early intervention services.


Joint attentionEarly interventionToddlersParent mediationAutism

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special EducationIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Special Education, College of Education and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA
  3. 3.Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA