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Geometric pattern preference may be an early identifier of autism

July 01, 2019

-We initially predicted that ASD toddlers overall would show a reduced number of saccades,- Pierce explained However, results revealed that it was only the geometric responders, not the group as a whole, who displayed a reduced number of saccades; and this pattern was only evident when they were viewing their preferred geometric patterns. -It was almost as if they got -stuck- and didn-t move their eyes as much as typical toddlers when viewing geometric patterns. The geometric patterns were apparently very absorbing to them.-

The researchers concluded that a preference for moving geometric patterns, combined with how long toddlers stare when looking at moving geometric images, might be an early identifier of autism.

-If your baby occasionally enjoys looking at the screen saver on your computer, it is no cause for alarm,- said Pierce. -But if your baby looks at such moving geometric patterns for long periods of time, but not at fun, social images, you might want to check for other early warning signs of autism.-

Such warning signs include reduced enjoyment during back-and-forth games like peek-a-boo; the presence of an unusual tone of voice; a lack of pointing at or bringing objects to show; and a failure to respond when his/her name is called.

-If your baby shows multiple such -red-flags,- then speak to your pediatrician about a developmental evaluation,- Pierce advised.

Source: University of California - San Diego