Dyadic Orienting and Joint Attention in Preschool Children with Autism

  • Susan R. Leekam
  • Christopher A. H. Ramsden

Acts of dyadic orienting (responses to attention bids by a researcher) and acts of joint attention (e.g. pointing and showing behaviors) were observed in preschool children with autism and children with developmental delay. Children with autism responded to fewer adult vocal and non-vocal attention bids that were made singly and by combining modalities (e.g. name call plus touch). Sensitivity in dyadic orienting was significantly related to child-initiated acts of joint attention (IJA). Sensitivity to dyadic orienting was also significantly related to language and non-verbal ability. These findings indicate that dyadic orienting difficulties are found alongside triadic joint attention difficulties in children with autism.


Autism joint attention dyadic orienting 



This research was funded by ESRC Grant R000223447. We would like to thank the parents and children who gave their time to participate in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan R. Leekam
    • 1
    • 3
  • Christopher A. H. Ramsden
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Durham, Science LaboratoriesDurhamEngland
  2. 2.University of DurhamDurhamEngland
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Durham, Science LaboratoriesDurhamEngland

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