Attention Autism

Attention Autism originates from the idea that successful communication is dynamic, engaging and joyful. We learn best when we work with enthusiasm, motivation and creativity. We remember good times and shared experiences.

Children, whether they are autistic or not, make sense of the world around them by taking in information through their senses, working out what it means to them and relating it to what they really understand. They build a bank of knowledge and experience that shapes how they interact, develop and grow as individuals. The problems start when you are not sure what a child is taking in. What do you do if they don't seem interested or don't share any interests with you?

This is the all too familiar problem when teaching children with autism - The answer is to make your interactions irresistible! Attention Autism has been designed to help parents and professionals give their child with autism an irresistible invitation to learn using fantastic activities and having a really good time whilst doing so.

The Attention Autism approach provides the child with an experience worth communicating about.

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What is attention Autism?

Attention Autism is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication 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”! Staff at Tettenhall Wood have adopted the framework, principles and ideas to best meet needs of pupils at Tettenhall Wood School.

Why do we use the ‘Attention Autism’ approach at Tettenhall Wood School?

We need to work on concentration so we can plant an idea our pupils’ head so we can talk about something that we both have shared and understand.

What makes you want to communicate with someone?

Eye contact, gesture, facial expression, proximity, body language, shared experience.

Attention autism works on these things:

Attention Autism builds on ASD strengths: Such as visual skills, a memory for motivating things and routines and lots of energy

Pupils with ASD often have difficulties with their attention skills. People need to have developed attention and listening skills in order to understand and use language. Attention Autism strategies can help us start at the attention level pupils are at and help them to build upon it.

At Tettenhall Wood we use attention autism techniques to help:

  • Independent working

  • Art

  • Commenting skills

  • Understand scientific ideas

  • Counting

  • Anticipation

  • Learn new vocabulary

  • Work and play with our friend

  • Story telling

  • Our concentration

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The 4 stages of the attention autism approach help children at different levels.

Stage 1 - The Bucket: Everyone attends to the same thing chosen by the adult.

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Stage 2 - Attention Builder: Pupils develop longer and sustained attention skills.

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Stage 3 - Turn-taking games: Pupil learn to shift attention.

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Stage 4 - Independent work: Pupils focus, sustain, shift attention, transition and then refocus.