Autistic kids miss out on non-verbal cues during social interactions

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 23:52

London: Scientists have warned adults that when communicating with children with autism they should be cautious, as such kids tend to look away during conversations and miss out on the non-verbal aspects.

In a presentation at the British Science Association, the team of researchers said it could be one of the reasons to why they Autistic kids struggle with social interaction, the BBC reported.

Researchers from Durham and Northumbria Universities studied kids with autism, and those with Williams syndrome, as well as healthy children at a similar level of development and intelligence.

They asked children to perform maths problems, either without instruction, or while being told to maintain eye contact with the experimenter.

The researchers concluded that holding eye contact is mentally demanding, so looking away while thinking is therefore beneficial when doing difficult tasks such as solving maths problems.

Debbie Riby, the lead author on the paper, said that if teachers work with pupils with autism, they also need to be aware that these children might be missing important non-verbal cues.

She said that they could encourage them to look at them when they`re listening, but shouldn`t get that mixed up with when they`re thinking.

It was reported that when talking and listening, people get cues from areas other than speech, that autistic children might be missing.

The study is published in the journal Developmental Science.

ANI



First Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 23:52

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