To diagnose autism, one of the important elements is to check whether the child avoids eye contact. A common assumption is that eye contact will make children feel uneasy, hence deliberately avoid eye contact. However, a new study in the United States found the opposite result. Using eye tracking technology, they studied two batches of two-year-old children. The result found that normal development children focus on other people’s eyes while paying attention to facial expressions, and responded to different facial changes; On the contrary, children with autism also paid attention to other people’s eyes, but did not observe the facial expressions. The study concluded that autistic children are not afraid of eye contact or not interested, but the findings may suggested that children with autism do not understand the meaning of eye contact.
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