“Anders has always struggled with eye contact. It was not until vision therapy that we realized how difficult and uncomfortable it was for him to try to make eye contact. With the help of a teacher and vision therapy, Anders’ eye contact has improved significantly. It has helped his social confidence and skills to be able to make eye contact more comfortably”.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends infants to have their first eye examination by six months of age. Behavioral optometrists can be one of the first lines of defense in observing behaviors and symptoms that could aid in the early detection of autism spectrum disorders.
Individuals diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum often have delays in the areas of language, sensory integration, and motor coordination that affect visual development including eye tracking and teaming, processing, and perceptual skills.
Potential Visual Symptoms seen in individuals on the Autism Spectrum:
- Poor eye contact
- Looking out of the corner of the eyes
- Head turning or tilting to view objects
- Using a hand to cover an eye or looking through fingers to view objects
- Sensitivity to light
- Easily becomes overwhelmed with too much visual stimulation
- Anxiety or discomfort in crowded areas such as malls
- Clumsiness, bumping into things
- An eye that turns inward or outward
- Poor tracking
- Poor depth perception; running into people or objects
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