ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
CANCER
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
DIET, NUTRITION
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Any Old Cane Won't Do
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Add your Article

Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- While poor eye contact has long been a suspected sign of possible autism, researchers at Yale University have used "eye-mapping technology" to prove that children with autism don't make eye contact like normally developing children do.

Published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, the new research found that children with autism spent more time looking at an adult's mouth instead of gazing into the eyes.

"Just as the eyes are the window to the soul, the eyes are also a window into social development," said study senior author Ami Klin, director of the autism program at Yale University School of Medicine.

Klin said that by using eye-mapping technology, it's possible that a vulnerability for autism could be identified much earlier than is currently possible. And, he said, "The earlier we are able to identify children, the better it is, because early interventions make a difference in optimizing children's outcomes."

It's estimated that autism, a developmental disorder that disrupts communication and social interaction, affects about 3.4 out of every 1,000 children between the ages of 3 and 10, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Parents are generally the first to notice early signs of autism. The NIMH says that some known early signs that may indicate an autism spectrum disorder in a child include:

* By age 1, doesn't babble, point or gesture.
* Doesn't speak a single word by 16 months.
* By age 2, hasn't combined two words.
* Seems to lose language skills.
* Interacts poorly socially.
* Doesn't respond to his or her name.
* Doesn't smile.
* Makes poor eye contact.
* Doesn't appear to know how to play with toys and may repeatedly line up toys or other objects.

For the new study, Klin and his colleagues, including Warren Jones, compared 15 children with autism to 36 typically developing children, and to another 15 children who were developmentally delayed but not autistic. All of the children were 2 years old.

The children were shown 10 videos of adults looking directly into the camera and mimicking caregiving and playing with the child. While the videos were running, the researchers used eye tracking to assess the child's visual fixation patterns.

They found that children with autism spent significantly less time looking at the eyes than did typically developing children or the developmentally delayed group. Autistic children looked at the eyes about 30 percent of the time, compared to nearly 55 percent for both of the other groups.

Children with autism spent almost 40 percent of the time looking at the mouth area, while children in the other groups only spent about 24 percent of the time looking at this area.

Eye fixation in children with autism also appeared to predict the level of social disability. Those who had greater social disabilities spent less time looking at the eye area, according to the study.

"We've always had a sense that children with autism don't make eye contact, but this study confirms it in a higher-tech way," said Cynthia Johnson, director of the autism center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Johnson said she'd like to see this study confirmed in a larger group of children. Klin added that he and his colleagues are currently conducting a prospective study in children at a higher risk of autism to see "if there's a derailment in the process of social engagement," and if so, when that happens.

More information

To learn more about the early signs of autism, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians' FamilyDoctor Web site.



SOURCES: Ami Klin, Ph.D., director, autism program, and Harris associate professor of child psychology and psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., director, autism center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; August 2008 Archives of General Psychiatry

Last Updated: Aug. 06, 2008

Copyright 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com