People or Video? What Do Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders Choose?
Deisenroth, Lauren K.
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by social, communication and behavioral challenges. This research follows up on reports that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learn important skills better from a person on video compared to a person who is present and interacts with the child. The purpose of this study with children with ASD and typically developing (TD) controls is to examine visual preferences to two sights: a video of a person and a real person who is present. Children were simultaneously shown a short video of a person singing songs and playing games and an identical “live” presentation by the same person. Previous studies that examined visual preferences did not compare children’s preference for videotaped and live human behavior. This research may have implications both for theory regarding social deficits in autism, and practical applications for early detection and intervention.