Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Promoting early social-communicative competency in toddlers with autism  

Children with autism show a characteristic deficit in the ability to coordinate interest in external objects or events with other people. This is referred to as joint attention, which typically develops between 9-15 months of age. Based on this observation, these researchers will focus on a home based intervention protocol called the Joint Attention Mediated Learning (JAML) model to assess the relationship between the intervention and targeted child outcomes. JAML incorporates research-based knowledge of early development in autism and the demonstrated importance of joint attention as a critical foundation for language, social, and cognitive development. JAML also incorporates developmentally appropriate approaches, family centered principles, socially based learning, and infusion within natural routines to promote generalization. Pediatricians, early intervention providers, and diagnostic clinics will identify potential participants using autism screening protocols. With weekly guidance from trained, master's level interventionists, parents will mediate child learning to promote joint attention through the JAML four-phase intervention protocol as operationalized in clinician and parent manuals. The researchers will be examining the ability of the child to develop joint attention during early intervention and follow up. In light of well researched findings that joint attention predicts social-communicative competence in children with autism, this outcome measure is significant. Implementation and standardization across three sites will maximize access to participants and incorporate the expertise of three investigators, who each bring unique yet complementary abilities and skills to this project. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Current Award Period 2007-2010
Project Number 1735
Principal Investigator Schertz, Hannah; Odom, Samuel; Baggett, Kathleen
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Behavioral
Strategic Plan Objective New! Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4LD. Support at least five community-based studies that assess the effectiveness of interventions and services in broader community settings by 2015. Such studies may include comparative effectiveness research studies that assess the relative effectiveness of: o Different and/or combined medical, pharmacological, nutritional, behavioral, service-provision, and parent- or caregiver-implemented treatments; o Scalable early intervention programs for implementation in underserved, low-resource, and low-literacy populations; and o Studies of widely used community intervention models for which extensive published data are not available. Outcome measures should include assessment of potential harm as a result of autism treatments, as well as positive outcomes. IACC Recommended Budget: $37,500,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Indiana University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Kansas
State/Country Indiana; North Carolina; Kansas
Web Link 1 Promoting early social-communicative competency in toddlers with autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Promoting early social-communicative competency in toddlers with autism | $314,113.25 | 2009 | 1735
Promoting early social-communicative competency in toddlers with autism | $323,000.00 | 2008 | 1735