Eye tracking reveals early communication problem in autistic children
At 10 months of age, infants later diagnosed with autism rarely draw others’ attention to an object or event, a new study suggests1.
The results hint that early treatments that focus on joint attention — a behavior in which two people focus on the same thing — could ease communication problems in autistic children.
The study is the first to use eye tracking to assess how babies initiate joint attention. It fits with other research over the past few years showing that joint-attention measures may help identify autism before other autism traits emerge, and with long-standing work showing that initiation of joint attention is particularly relevant to autism.