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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention aimed to increase joint attention in 2-4 year old children with autism. The study will be conducted in mainstream preschools in Norway. The intervention will be implemented by preschool teachers and paraprofessionals supervised by trained counselors.
Young children with autism experience severe deficit in joint attention skills (e.g. pointing to objects, showing, following another person's gaze, responding to invitations to social interaction). Ability to initiate and respond to joint attention is linked to children's later language abilities. As a mean to improve language outcome in children with autism, it is important to target joint attention in early intervention programs.
This study investigates the effectiveness of a joint attention intervention. Sixty 2-4 year old children with autism will be randomized to an intervention group or a control group. Children in both groups will continue their ordinary preschool program. However, the children in the intervention group will also participate in 80 joint attention intervention sessions. The sessions (20 minutes each) will be conducted twice a day for 8 weeks by preschool teachers or paraprofessionals working in the preschools. Before starting the intervention preschool teachers and paraprofessionals will be taught how to teach joint attention skills and how to initiate and maintain episodes of joint engagement. During the course of intervention they will be supervised by trained counselors.
Outcome measures will include joint attention skills, language skills and joint engagement. Children will be assessed at baseline, after 10 weeks and at follow up 6 months and 1 year after the end of the intervention. The measures are based on direct testing of the children, video observations and questionnaires to parent and professionals.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Joint attention intervention
Ullevaal University Hospital
Active, not recruiting
Ullevaal University Hospital
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:35:18-0400
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