Attention Autism is a learning approach that aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication skills in children with autism through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities. At White Ash, the sessions are engaging and fun to promote communication and increase attention span for those children who struggle to maintain concentration.
The Attention Autism approach progresses through 4 stages, building on each skill level. Each new stage is introduced when the children are ready to move on with their attention skills.
Stage 1: The Bucket to Focus Attention:
A bucket is filled with motivating, exciting and visually engaging toys which are of high interest to the children, aiming to teach children how to focus their attention. The adult with the bucket sings the bucket song and uses simple vocabulary to explore what is found and comment on what the object is.
Stage 2: The Attention Builder:
In stage 2 children are introduced to visually stimulating and motivating practical activities shown by the session leader. This stage aims to sustain and extend concentration and attention for a longer period.
Stage 3: The Interactive Game – Turn Taking and Shifting Attention:
A simple visually stimulating and engaging activity is shown by the session leader. Some children are then encouraged to take turns doing the same activity. This encourages the children to learn how to shift their attention to their own individual participation and then back to the group. They also learn a range of others skills, such as sharing, turn taking and waiting.
Stage 4: Individual activity – Focus, Shift and Re-engage Attention:
The session leader shows a simple creative task and then gives each child an set for them to copy what has been shown. The children focus their attention in the group to watch a demonstration, then shift their attention to the individual activity and then come back to re-engage attention in the group to show the rest of the group their completed work. During this stage the children are also building their independence skills and following instructions.