Friday, May 20, 2016

It's more than Eyeball-to-Eyeball

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are sometimes identified by eye contact. . . or rather lack of it.  But that eye contact thing causes confusion. 

Problems with eye contact

Students with autism are frequently described as having a lack of eye contact.  More careful observation can reveal a variety of looking behaviors. 
Sometimes students:
  • Avert their gaze to purposely avoid looking at people
  • Avoid eye contact vigorously as if trying to avoid pain
  • Don’t look because they are looking somewhere else
  • May look, but they don’t look at the important places where other people would look
  • Do not look like they are looking, but they seem to know everything that is happening
These students may not use their eyes effectively to enhance communication and social interaction.  They don’t use their eyes well to make a social connection with others. 

What does this mean for social skills?

Looking is an important foundation skill for effective social interaction.  Eye contact is the basis for making a social connection with people.  Looking at the right things can enhance communication.  Here are some reasons why:

Read more here.