Congenital blindness and autism

Hobson, R Peter, Lee, Anthony and Brown, Rachel (2011) Congenital blindness and autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41 (11). pp. 1593-1594. ISSN 0162-3257 (Print) 1573-3432 (Online)

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The nature of autism in congenitally blind children has long been a source of interest and perplexity. A group of nine congenitally blind children with an autism-like syndrome were closely matched on chronological age and verbal mental age with nine sighted autistic children, and were compared on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (Schopler, Reichler, & Renner, 1986) and the Behavior Checklist for Disordered Preschoolers, together with the Play Items for Disordered Preschoolers (Sherman, Shapiro, & Glassman, 1983). A checklist of clinical features characteristic of autism (derived from DSM-III-R) was also completed through an interview with teachers. There was substantial similarity between the groups, but also suggestive evidence of possible group differences, specifically in the domain of social-emotional responsiveness. Research on the psychological development of congenitally blind children promises to yield insights into the nature of autism itself.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Communication (incl. disorders of) > Autism
Department/People: Special Units

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