ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
CANCER
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Be Healthy, Spend Less
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
Maximize Your Run
Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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