In 2014, Grossman showed 87 people videotapes of 9 children with a mild form of autism and 10 without, each speaking a few sentences. The observers didn’t know anything about the children, but it only took one second of tape — video or audio alone, or together — for them to realize there was something different about the children on the spectrum. The results, which have since been validated several times over, inspired Grossman’s subsequent work and her passion for this line of inquiry. “Clearly there is something going on, something very salient and very subtle at the same time,” she says, with an intense energy appropriate for someone who is studying expressiveness. “It happens all the time, and it leads to a reduced willingness of people to engage with people with autism.”
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