The present study aimed to examine the controlling variables for initiating joint attention (IJA) in three children with autism. During the baseline, target objects were presented in a location where the child could see them, but the adult could not, and the emergence of IJA was assessed. Children with autism showed some IJA skills during the baseline, but none initiated pointing. In training, the motivating operation for IJA was manipulated by using each child's preferred materials as targets of joint attention. It was found that more frequent and functional joint attention behaviors were emitted following training. The present study suggests that difficulties in IJA in children with autism could be partly explained by restricted interests in children with autism.
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