Attention Autism is a learning approach created by speech and language therapist Gina Davies, that aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication skills in children through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities Gina’s primary objective is that the sessions are fun and “offer an irresistible invitation to learn”!
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.
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.
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.
‘Bucket’ sessions are incorporated in to many of our classes at White Ash School and we learn lots of different skills and topics through it.