Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulties in building and developing social and emotional skills in the same pattern with their peers. Deficit in joint attention is a core problem that presented by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in DSM IV criteria (APA, 1994). Some expert in the field of ASD have proposed play-base interventions for working with children with ASD, providing support for using play therapy as a method of treatment (Gallo-Lopez & Rubin; Greenspan & Weider; Layne in Balch & Ray, 2015).
Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) is a therapy that has one of the purpose involve joint attention. Further, CCPT is effective to increase joint attention skills, so it can increase social interaction skills for children with ASD.
The purpose of this research is to know the effectiveness of CCPT in improving attention skills for children with ASD. This research’s design is a qualitative method with single case pre-test-post-test design, by measuring the score of joint attention skills. These include Initiative Joint Attention (IJA) and Response Joint Attention (RJA). In three years old ASD children before and after CCPT. The CCPT conducted in twenty sessions for four weeks. The results also show that CCPT is effective to increase Initiative Joint Attention (IJA). With Skor comparison in post-test is higher (77,56) than pres-test.
Based on DSM 5 (APA, 2013), children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has persistent deficits in social interaction. Additionally, deficits in social communication, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior.
Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction; ranging from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication. Abnormalities in eye contact and body language, or deficits in understanding and use of nonverbal communication. Further, total lack of facial expression or gestures (APA, 2013). Overall, the beginning of the delays in social behavior arises at least in 5 social behavior areas: social stimuli, joint attention, emotion, imitation, and face processing (Dawson & Faja in Nelson & Israel, 2015).
The core problem has been shown by the child with ASD is the deficits of joint attention (Kerig, Ludlow & Wenar, 2012). Deficits in joint attention is the core that is evident in children with ASD. According to DSM 4 criteria (APA, 1994), including difficulties in sharing interest spontaneously, or doing something with other children. Joint attention is often discussed as one of the first shape from visible communication (Schertz & Odom in Rudy et al., 2014). Joint attention refers to the child’s capacity to coordinate attention with a social partner around an object or event and is observed when the child is showing overt skills such as alternating gaze between an object and a person, pointing, showing or giving, to share or to show (Mundy & Sigman; Scaife & Bruner in Kaale, Smith,& Sponheim, 2012).