Social communication occurs though our eyes, faces, and bodies. We want our children to look at us and to have a view of our faces, expressions, gaze and mouths as we talk and interact. To do this we want to find positions that put us in the “spotlight” when interacting with your child.

In other words, get down on your child’s level and be their center of attention. You can position yourself so your baby or young child can see your face and you can see theirs. Having your child sit in a chair or beanbag can provide them with support and help them focus their attention on you.

This position will give you plenty of opportunities to read your child’s body language, know where and what they are looking at, and what they are interested in. That way you can match your focus to their interests. Remember, face-to-face positioning is key to gaining your child’s attention.

 The following sections provide examples and ideas for stepping onto your child’s “stage.”

Drawing of a bookRead more:

 Nurturing early play skills


Ipad screen

Watch these videos for examples you can try:

Fun with diaper changes

I know I am in my child’s “spotlight” when:

  • We are face-to-face (sitting or standing) when playing or caregiving
  • My child can easily see my face and body movements
  • My child is most often looking at me when we are interacting

Back to Module 1           Step 3: Eliminate the competition

Adapted from: An early start for your child with Autism: Using everyday activities to help kids connect, communicate, and learn. Rogers, S.J., Dawson, G., Vismara, L.A. (2012). New York: Guilford Press.