ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
CANCER
Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
A Honey of a Sinusitis Treatment
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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