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Psychology and neuroscience of blindness
Transcript of Psychology and neuroscience of blindness
Development of social cognition and social skills in blind children
9 blind children most similar to children with autism
9 sighted children with autism matched on age and verbal IQ
autism is the
developmental outcome of abnormality in children’s engagement with their social environment
Expected findings for the follow-up study:
-Teacher interview about clinical features of autism
-assessment of verbal IQ (Wechsler, 1992)
-20 min observation:
The childhood autism rating scale (CARS) (Schopler, Reicher, & Renner, 1986), mearusing degree of abnormality
Behaviour Checklist for Disordered Preschoolers (BCDP) (Sherman, Shapiro, &Glassman, 1983) in domains of functioning
DSM-III-R Checklist of clinical features
-autism definition based on a constellation of clinical features
-critical about assumptions about "real" autism
- atypical form of autism may reveal previously undisclosed characteristics --> revisit theories of development of autsim
- role of lack of vision in development of clinical features
: limited ability to identify with the attitudes of other people constrains the development of an understaning of other peoples view points (Theory of Mind)
: increased risk of autism because of their inability to see and engage with other peoples attitudes.
opportunities to compensate for the lack of vision -->prevent/ ameliorate outcome
-contrast in development of both groups
-constant clinical improvement among blind children
-evidence for the possibility of change among blind children with autism
- all autism-like symptoms can be explained as consequence of blindness
- eg. delayed accquisition of symbolic play (Tröster and Bramring, 1994)
-similar symptoms, but different emergence, no common pathway
-delay but not disorder of information processing
-->wrong to evaluate special socio-cognitive features of blind children as "clinical features"
qualitative nature of
expression of autism
-lower proportion of blind children will meet DSM criteria for autism at T2
-blind children will score less on scales of social impairment
-blind children will show greater rise in IQ
-blind children had lower scores of social impairment
-blind children showed less abnormal behaviour at T2 and greater improvement in areas of relating to people, play activity and use of language
-most sighted participants score similar at T1 and T2
-no discussion of IQ findings
-use of preschool measures for 15 year olds
-pure delay does not account for longterm difficulties
-value of understanding similarities -->interventions
-difficulties caused by understanding of "autism"
-what is "autism"? -->implications for theoretical development
conclusion and further thoughts:
relationship between autism and blindness
Journal article discussion:
-What is the relationship between autism and blindness?
-What do these findings tell us about the development of social cognition and social skills in blind children?
-How could "autistic-like" behaviours be alternatively explained in blind children?
any questions or comments?
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