[Source: Medical News Today]
A new study has found that children with autism are capable of learning new words the same way any child would – by following someone’s gaze as they name an object. They just take longer to pick up the skill.
The study, which appears in the International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, showed that autistic children scored almost exactly the same as neurotypical children (those who don’t hav e autism) in tests of learning new words, and were able to follow their teachers’ eye movements 75 percent of the time, compared to neurotypical children’s 78 percent.
Researchers have long known that neurotypical children as young as 18 months old look at a person’s eyes and follow their gaze in order to associate a spoken word with the object the person is looking at.