Attention Autism is an intervention aimed to support children’s attention skills, develop natural and spontaneous verbal and non-verbal communication and increase participation in adult-led activities using visually stimulating, highly motivating and fun activities.
The programme follows a set of 4 stages with each stage building on from the previous. See below for a set out of each stage.
Stage 1 – The Bucket to Focus Attention
A bucket full of visually engaging resources is used to gain the shared attention of the group. The group leader shows items from the bucket to the group and introduces simple, repetitive language to comment on what is happening.
Stage 2 – The Attention Builder
The group leader carries out a visually stimulating activity with the aim of sustaining the children’s attention for longer. Activities are fun and often have a messy element!
Stage 3 – Turn Taking and Re-engaging Attention
Similar to the previous stage, the group leader models a visually stimulating activity. However, this time children who would like to have a go are invited to come and carry out the activity. Not all children in the group will get a turn, supporting important skills such as waiting, turn taking and learning through modelling.
Stage 4 – Shifting and Re-engaging Attention
This is the final stage and promotes the skills of engaging in an activity, shifting attention, following modelling and developing independence. The group leader will model a simple creative task. Children are then provided with their own kit to copy the task themselves, returning to the group once finished.
The concept of this intervention may appear simple but the results have been remarkable.
See below an example of Attention Autism stage 1, 2 and 3.