Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shadows and Autistic Children

Researchers in Italy studied 20 high functioning children with autism compared to neurotypical children regarding picture/ shape identification with and without shadows present. The presence of shadows hampered the children with autism's ability to recognize the objects. The researchers hypothesize that the children may hyperfocus on the shadows distracting their attention. The researchers recommend using multiple light sources for children with autism to reduce shadows.

On an additional note, during the study, the researchers observed that the children with autism had strict routines regarding snack time i.e. food placement, type of snack, etc.

Reference: Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience Contributor. Shadows Distract Autistic Children. Retreived on the web on 5/21/2010 from http://www.livescience.com/health/Shadows-Distract-Autistic-Children-100520.html

1 comment:

TherExtras said...

I think this study lends support to the idea that children's visual abilities need to be given more attention. Very young children's vision develops from high contrast visuals. Since children with autism appear to develop more slowly than undiagnosed children, perhaps their vision is developing more slowly and they need simpler, high contrast (sans shadows) visuals in order to interpret what they see.