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Joint Attention - Essay Example

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His cherubic face brightens up every time he sees his mother who works as a secretary in an office downtown. On the day I observed Ethan, he was in his mother’s arm, head contently resting on her shoulder. He seemed to be sleepy as I…
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Download file to see previous pages I started making sounds with my mouth and he raised his head, seeming surprised as he looked at my moving mouth. A while later, I saw a small smile curl on his lips. I kept popping my lips and making sounds, and earned a small chuckle from this beautiful baby. His mother kept cooing and encouraging him, as if to tell him that I was safe to interact with. It only took a short time, but I felt good that our interaction was very positive, making me want to see more of Ethan’s awesome smile.
What transpired in the interaction between Ethan and me is known as ‘joint attention’. There have been several studies on the topic of joint attention, and several definitions have been formed in relation to the study design. Naoi, Tsuchiya, Yamamoto, Nakamura (2008) broadly define joint attention as the “coordinated and shared attention between two individuals directed at an object or event” (p. 595). Naber, et al (2007) refer to joint attention as a “triadic relation between self, other and object and indicates the earliest behavior of the infant’s awareness of others’ minds” (p. 899). In their view, Naber, et al conclude that manifested early joint attention behaviors are major milestones in child development. Illustrated in simple terms, joint attention does not refer to only one observed behavior but a host of related behaviors such as gaze following; pointing behavior; mutual gazing or joint visual attention; following the direction of the pointing of the speaker; showing an object; giving an appropriate response to a mutually gazed at object; etc. It includes another person joining the individual in attending to an object or event observed.
Rocha, Schreibman and Stahmer (2007) categorize joint attention into joint attention initiations or joint attention responses. They claim that joint attention responses develop earlier in the individual than the ability to initiate joint attention bids. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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