Effects of Different Attentional Cues on Responding to Joint Attention in Younger Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders


We compared responding to joint attention (RJA) in younger siblings of children with ASD (SIBS- ASD; n = 46) and younger siblings of children developing typically (SIBS-TD; n = 35). Children were tested between 12 and 23 months of age in a situation in which an experimenter directed the child’s attention to one of 8 targets. Each child responded to 10 different combinations of verbal and nonverbal cues containing varying levels of attention-specifying information. SIBS-ASD had significantly lower overall RJA scores than SIBS-TD. Moderately redundant cues were most difficult for SIBS-ASD relative to SIBS-TD; adding a point to moderately redundant cues improved RJA for SIBS-ASD, bringing them to a level of RJA commensurate with SIBS-TD.

In Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders