Interventions targeting attention in young children with autism

Elena Patten, Linda R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The ability to focus and sustain one's attention is critical for learning. Children with autism demonstrate unusual characteristics of attention from infancy. It is reasonable to assume that early anomalies in attention influence a child's developmental trajectories. Therapeutic interventions for autism often focus on core features of autism such as communication and socialization, while very few interventions specifically address attention. The purpose of this article is to provide clinicians a description of attention characteristics in children with autism and discuss interventions thought to improve attention. Method: Characteristics of attention in children with autism are presented. Intervention studies featuring measures of attention as an outcome variable for young children with autism are reviewed to present interventions that have empirical evidence for improvements in attention. Results are synthesized by strategy, specific feature of attention targeted, and results for both habilitative goals and accommodations for attention. Conclusion: Although research is not extensive, several strategies to support attention in young children with autism have been investigated. The empirical findings regarding these strategies can inform evidence-based practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Autistic Disorder
autism
Aptitude
Socialization
Evidence-Based Practice
accommodation
socialization
evidence
Communication
Learning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

Interventions targeting attention in young children with autism. / Patten, Elena; Watson, Linda R.

In: American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Vol. 20, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 60-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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