Investigating Gaze Behaviour of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Classroom Setting

Aideen McParland*, Stephen Gallagher, Mickey Keenan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

A defining feature of ASD is atypical gaze behaviour, however, eye-tracking studies in ‘real-world’ settings are limited, and the possibility of improving gaze behaviour for ASD children is largely unexplored. This study investigated gaze behaviour of ASD and typically developing (TD) children in their classroom setting. Eye-tracking technology was used to develop and pilot an operant training tool to positively reinforce typical gaze behaviour towards faces. Visual and statistical analyses of eye-tracking data revealed different gaze behaviour patterns during live interactions for ASD and TD children depending on the interaction type. All children responded to operant training with longer looking times observed on face stimuli post training. The promising application of operant gaze training in ecologically valid settings is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date15 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 15 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Applied behaviour analysis
  • Behaviour change
  • Social skills
  • Gaze behaviour

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