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Res Autism Spectr Disord. 2009 Jan 1;3(1):42-49.

Teaching Discrimination of Adult Gaze Direction to Children with Autism.

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New England Center for Children and Northeastern University.


Three young children diagnosed with autism did not reliably locate objects in the environment on the basis of an adult's gaze shifts. A training program designed to teach gaze following used the activation of remote controlled mechanical toys as both prompts and consequences. Over several training sessions, toy activation was progressively delayed following the adult's gaze-shift cues. All of the children eventually came to anticipate the toy activation and locate the target object on the basis of the adult's gaze-shift cue alone. Discrimination of another person's gaze direction is discussed in relation to joint attention deficits in children with autism.

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