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J Autism Dev Disord. 2011 Feb;41(2):242-7. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-1038-3.

Brief report: Circumscribed attention in young children with autism.

Author information

  • 1School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, GR41 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080, USA. nsasson@utdallas.edu

Abstract

School-aged children and adolescents with autism demonstrate circumscribed attentional patterns to nonsocial aspects of complex visual arrays (Sasson et al. 2008). The current study downward extended these findings to a sample of 2-5 year-olds with autism and 2-5 year-old typically developing children. Eye-tracking was used to quantify discrete aspects of visual attention to picture arrays containing combinations of social pictures, pictures of objects frequently involved in circumscribed interests in persons with autism (e.g., trains), and pictures of more commonplace objects (e.g., clothing). The children with autism exhibited greater exploration and perseverative attention on objects related to circumscribed interests than did typically developing children. Results suggest that circumscribed attention may be an early emerging characteristic of autism.

PMID:
20499147
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3709851
Free PMC Article

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