SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Hurwitz, S., & Watson, L. R. (2016). Joint attention revisited: Finding strengths among children with autism. Autism, 20, 538–550. doi:10.1177/1362361315593536

Learning Objective: 6.2.b List and describe early deficits in social cognition typically shown by infants and toddlers who are later diagnosed with ASD.

Summary: Joint attention is a commonly used indicator of autism in children. This study examined joint attention in children with ASD and other developmental disabilities to assess how joint attention is related to language and the degree to which children have the skills but do not use them or just do not have the skills.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is joint attention? When does it typically develop? How is joint attention different in children with ASD?
  2. What were the results of the study? How is joint attention different in children with autism versus other developmental delays?
  3. Some children with ASD were able to use joint attention, but did not do so. The authors suggest possible reasons for this. How would you examine these? What steps would you take to encourage the use of joint attention skills?

Article 2: Zablotsky, B., Bradshaw, C. P., Anderson, C. M., & Law, P. (2014). Risk factors for bullying among children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 18, 419–427. doi:10.1177/1362361313477920

Learning Objective: 6.1 Describe the key features of ASD and explain how the disorder exists along a “spectrum.”

Summary: Children with ASD struggle socially and have difficulty with friendships and at school. This study examined predictors of bullying among children with ASD through reports from 1,221 parents of children with the disorder. Results indicate that bullying is not uniform but that certain factors predict this risk.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Nearly two-third of the children in the study had been victimized at some point. Does this surprise you? Why or why not? Do you think this number is accurate? Why or why not?
  2. What factors increased the likelihood of bullying? Are there other potential predictors that you would like to see included in future research?
  3. What are the implications of this research for inclusive versus self-contained classrooms? How do these results affect your consideration of this issue?