INVESTIGATING A RESPONSIVE INTERACTION TECHNIQUE FOR JOINT ATTENTION IN CHILDREN (8-12) WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: A PILOT EYE-TRACKING STUDY
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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate difficulty with joint attention (JA). A scoping review showed that methods of cueing for and measuring JA used in research influence JA, with methodologies emphasizing one of ecological validity or gaze measurement accuracy while compromising the other. No investigations have paired mobile eye tracking with face-to-face interactions to examine JA in children with ASD. A case study using mobile eye tracking to explore differences in JA and gaze use by a child with ASD when interacting with two occupational therapists, one using the responsive interaction style and the other naïve to it, was performed. Interaction style did not impact JA but seemed to influence the child’s gaze use. With the responsive therapist, the child looked more at the therapist’s face, and less at non-therapist, non-task targets. While findings are not generalizable beyond the case study, they can instruct the design of future studies.