A study published today in the Journal of Current Biology reveals nuance in autistic social divergence, showing that children with autism tend toward practical procedure and efficiency, avoiding unnecessary or “silly” behavior that other children enact in social compliance. The study, conducted by Antonia Hamilton of The University of Nottingham in England, was a monkey-see-monkey-do scenario where 30 children with typical development and 30 children with autism spectrum disorder were all asked to watch an adult remove a toy from a container and then do so themselves. The adult played with the container before removing the toy, but did not instruct the children to follow the same steps. Still, 43-57% of the typically developing children copied the presenter’s silly steps before taking the toy from the container, compared to only 22% of the children with ASD. Overwhelmingly, the children with ASD efficiently removed the toy from the container as the typically developing children tapped and shook away. Hamilton explains the findings in an article for Health News Daily saying, “The data suggests that children with autism do things efficiently rather than socially.” Further, she suggests that typically developing children have a strong desire to fit in, which children with ASD lack.
This study has significance for developing necessary discrepancies in education strategies for children with ASD and furthering understanding that autism does not have to be disabling. Share your opinion below! Check out ICare4Autism’s global initiatives and stay tuned for breaking news on the autism front.
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