Eye tracking tests – Rett vs. Autism

In October at the European Rett Syndrome Conference, one presenter showed a very interesting study which tracked the eyes of typical children, children with rett and those with autism (ASD). The differences in what they were looking at on the same image were striking. The autistic children looked at the corners of the image and at the inanimate objects (like a clock) and the kids with Rett looked straight into the eyes of the people on the images, even more intensively than the typical children.

Find the image below showing an eye gaze heat map in Rett, ASD and typical children with no diagnosis.

Equally in this talk, the speaker showed a video heat map of children watching a movie and showed that the Rett kids understood the language and context in the movie and, for instance, looked at the door if a character referenced someone coming over. Or danced back and forth between two characters having a conversation.

In short, these kids are totally “in there”. The lights are on and someone’s home.