Increasing responding to others' joint attention directives using circumscribed interests


  • We thank the children, families, and schools who participated in this project.

Address correspondence to Emily A. Jones, Department of Psychology, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Queens, New York 11367 (e-mail:


Children with autism show significant deficits in joint attention (JA), which occurs when 2 people engage in verbalizations, gestures, or eye contact with each other and a common object. Children with autism also exhibit intense interests in specific topics (i.e., circumscribed interests; CI). This study investigated the effectiveness of teaching responding to JA directives (RJA) to 3 children with autism while engaged in CI activities. RJA increased during intervention and generalized from CI to preferred activities.