Autism and PressVision

Symptoms of Autism
How is Autism Identified?

Picture of Dr Leonard Press from the Family Eyecare Associates Office

According to all authorities, early identification and intervention for Autism gives the best opportunity to help guide a child’s development. Developmental optometry provides a unique window into early visual development. Dr. Press co-authored an article in the journal Optometry and Vision Development on the role of Optometry in the multidisciplinary approach to the early identification of ASD.

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What Are the Visual Factors of ASD?

Many children on the Autistic Spectrum have difficulty maintaining eye contact. While there are different theories as to why this is so, one underlying reason is difficulty in integration central visual processing with peripheral visual processing. This is one reason why individuals with ASD function with sideways glances. There are often social issues involved, and the ability to read faces requires complicated linkages in visual portions of the brain.

Do Persons With ASD Always Have Visual Problems?

Some individuals with ASD have unique visual strengths, but many have problems with various aspects of visual processing. Temple Grandin, one of the most famous individuals with ASD, wrote: "If visual processing problems are suspected, the child should see a developmental optometrist. This is a special eye doctor who can do therapy and exercises to help the processing problems that are inside the brain. In many of these children, the eye itself is normal but faulty wiring in the brain is causing the problem."

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