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Improving Attention Skills of Children With Autism

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00065910
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 5, 2003
Last Update Posted : July 2, 2007
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Brief Summary:
Toddlers with autism have poor joint attention skills. Joint attention skills include pointing to objects, following another person’s gaze, and responding to invitations to join in a social interaction. Improved joint attention skills may lead to better verbal ability as the child ages. This study teaches caregivers how to help their toddlers with autism develop joint attention skills.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Autism Behavioral: Caregiver joint attention intervention Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Young children with autism show impairment in joint attention. The impairment affects their ability to sustain a shared interest in social interaction and to use specific joint attention skills, such as pointing and showing. The importance of joint attention is underscored by data suggesting these skills are important to later language skills. Targeting joint attention deficits in developmentally young children using familiar caregivers may result in better child language outcomes. This study will teach caregivers how to initiate and maintain episodes of joint engagement with their children.

Participants will be randomized to either the intervention group or to a wait list control group. Each caregiver and child in the intervention group will participate in 24 1-hour sessions, 3 times a week for 8 weeks. In these sessions, caregivers will be taught 10 different modules for teaching joint attention skills to their children. Outcome measures will include language and joint attention skills in the child and caregiver adherence to the intervention protocols. Children and caregivers will be assessed at baseline, during the course of the 8-week intervention, and 10 weeks after the end of the intervention. Participants assigned to the wait list group will begin the intervention at Week 12.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Joint Attention Intervention With Caregivers and Their Children With Autism
Study Start Date : September 2001
Study Completion Date : January 2006

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Caregivers

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Months to 36 Months   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Diagnosis of autism based on Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (ADI-R) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) criteria

Exclusion Criteria

  • Seizures
  • Medical or psychiatric diagnoses other than autism that potentially contribute to developmental delay (e.g., genetic syndromes)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00065910

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United States, California
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Principal Investigator: Connie Kasari, PhD University of California, Los Angelos

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00065910     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21MH064927 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: August 5, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 2, 2007
Last Verified: June 2003
Keywords provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):
Joint attention
Developmental delay
Caregiver interaction
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Autistic Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders