Autism Myths: All About Eye Contact

Autism: A New Perspective
Autism: A New Perspective
Autism Myths: All About Eye Contact

In this episode, Dr. Steve Gutstein discusses the myth that teaching eye contact is the key to autism treatment.

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As we know, that again, That lack of gaze that we might see in some people when we first see them. Very quickly it’s dissipated when we don’t place too many demands on that person, when we’re not trying to force them to look at us, when we start looking at the world together, pushing us together.

That again if you think about the feeling of being overrated, the face is a very dynamic thing and scientists know about the fact that if you look at the face there is over 200 different movements in the face in the course of a minute.

You know, and if you’re already overwhelmed by the sub dynamic nature of your world , you are not able to handle the continuity amidst all the changes. You’re going to tend not to spend a lot of time looking at faces cause they tend to disorganize you and you know when we do look at faces we’re not conscious of it because it’s been so ingrained but we look cause there’s information there.

We look at faces, by the way interestingly enough, research has shown that infants tend to look at actions of their parents, after the first couple months they’re more interested in the actions of their parents face than eyes, certainly in their eyes and faces. They want to see what their parents are doing. Yes they want to look at faces too, their reaction to it but they’re interested in the whole thing, the whole body . What are you doing? What’s going on? Not necessarily what’s going on and clearly not what your eyeballs are doing.That they’re trying to make sense of things , they’re trying to get meanings of things. So you know, again, it’s a bizarre myth but it has to do with the idea that, if you just sort of make somebody look at you that they will not look so weird. It’s very odd, it’s very unnatural, right, for people? We don’t look, we look away . Unless you’re in love, that romantic love with someone you don’t just look in their face. You look here, you look there, you look around then you look at them. You look contingently as a reference point.

The face is a reference point and you look for that information or for that connection but you don’t just stare at people.



    Just talking about it in my Facebook group. Good video and great true.

  2. Elizabeth Alford

    Thanks, we are glad you are enjoying the podcasts!

  3. Susan

    So are you saying you shouldn’t enforce “look at me” or “look at my eyes” ? And that has a negative effect?

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