What is Joint Attention?
This refers to when two people share interest in the same object or event, and they both understand that they are both interested in the same object.
This emerges in children at around 9 months of age and should be well established by 18 moths of age.
Is there a difference between requesting vs true joint attention?
Yes! There is a difference between requesting versus true joint attention.
Where a child is pointing to something or. pulling your hand toward something and shifts their gaze from the parent back to the item they want and then back to the parent again that is Requesting. The purpose of this interaction is non-social and children with autism are generally good at doing this to get what they want.
True Joint Attention: The purpose of this is social. A child will point to something not to request it but to show it to someone. A child will point to the sky and look at their parent to show them that there is a plane in the air, they will hold up a book or ball to show their parents "look at what I have!" This is the type of joint attention we want kids to develop. Children with autism have difficulty with this because they are not interested in this kind of social interaction.