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September 18, 2005



Very interesting, especially regarding the eye contact issue! I wasn't really aware of the complexity of autism spectrum disorders/Asperger's until I read John Elder Robison's book, "Look Me in the Eye" (chronicling his struggle with Asperger's syndrome). Great read! You can find it on Amazon:



That and it's hard to pay attention to trying to figure out what someone is saying on their face when you have to listen to what someone is saying with their words. I mean, you have to listen to the words, and decide where they are really going with them (double meanings? scarcasm? straight) and the tone of voice that tells you more, and so looking at someone while they're talking and trying to figure out what their face is saying and integrating it with the sound and the words is just too much input. It overloads everything so you get it ALL wrong. Or, at least, that's how it works with me. : )

cathy lebeaux

Hi John,
I think you make a really good point about eye contact. A disportionately high amount of processing with Asperger's kids is through the Amydgala part of the brain. This part of the brain means is instinctive, preverbal, and preconscious. That's why Asperger's play is so pedantic and repetitive and there are so few words. All kids 0-3 store memories in this part of the brain and they are remembered as body memories. As adults, the Amydgala is our fight, flight, or freeze response. So, lack of eye contact may indeed be part of the processing problems that these kids have. I wonder if therenhave been any studies with EMDR?

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