25-09-2015 | Original Paper
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Blind Children: Very High Prevalence, Potentially Better Outlook
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 3/2016Log in om toegang te krijgen
Autism spectrum disorders affected 19 of 38 unselected children at a school for the blind in Cordoba, Argentina. Autism was linked to total congenital blindness, not blindness’ etiology, acquired or incomplete blindness, sex, overt brain damage, or socioeconomic status. Autism “recovery,” had occurred in 4 verbal children. Congenital blindness causes profoundly deviant sensory experience and massive reorganization of brain connectivity. Its ≥30 times greater prevalence than in sighted children suggests a distinct pathogenesis. Unawareness of autism’s high prevalence in blind individuals includes blindness’ rarity, misunderstanding of autism as “disease” rather than dimensional behavioral diagnosis, reluctance to diagnose it in blind children, and ignorance of its potentially more favorable outcome. Future investigation may suggest interventions to prevent or mitigate it.