Studying "joint attention" could be helpful
Another area the director is studying is known as “joint attention”. When turning around to look at something, a normally-developing child typically observes his or her behavior and they are likely to turn around to take a look as well. However, a child with autism would not notice. “It’s one of the hallmarks of autism. They tend not to care what you are looking at or thinking,” said MacDonald.
In order to persuade them to care, MacDonald will use an interesting or rewarding method for the child to follow her gaze. While improving joint behavior will not improve all other social skills, it is one step towards drastically advancing the lives of children with autism. The earlier that this type of work is begun, the better the outcomes.