Babies At Risk For Autism Benefit From Early Motor Experiences

A new study gives a bit of positive hope to parents of children at risk for autism. The new research,...
A new study gives a bit of positive hope to parents of children at risk for autism. The new research, published in the journal Developmental Science, shows that when an infant is at risk for autism, early motor experiences may help shape infants' preferences for objects and faces. Furthermore, early motor experiences such as these can increase a baby's interest in faces, which suggests a more advanced social development for the baby. Past research shows that little ones already diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show less interest in faces and social interactions that other children of the same age. However, this study shows that when a developing baby engages with objects and people early on, the results may be significant, helping the baby to learn about his world. During the study, very young babies (3 months old) were trained for 2 weeks. Researchers encourages some babies to actively manipulate objects themselves. Other babies were not as fully engaged, having objects simply passively touched to their hands. The babies who experienced active, self-produced reaching experiences, also had more spontaneous orienting towards faces. The babies less engaged, in passive experiences didn't have the same orienting behavior towards faces. Basically, actively engaging your baby is a good idea. It helps your baby to grow and develop both inwardly and socially. Learn more about active play with your baby in the links below: + Libertus, K. and Needham, A. (2011), Reaching experience increases face preference in 3-month-old infants. Developmental Science. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01084.x

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