As a child recovers from autism, oftentimes their eye contact improves, however when someone calls their name their response is minimal to none, parents of children with autism have a difficult time with this phenomena.
“Eyes make contact, but when called, they don’t look in response.” “I think my child has autism because they can’t make eye contact and don’t respond when called.”
In ASD, the neurological instincts that develop social skills are impacted.
Generally, when we look at people, we see people. This means that when people and objects are in one place at the same time, we usually see people, however when called by another person this response is not a natural instinct to respond to.
A call-to-call response, at what stage of development does it get better?
Eye contact and call-to-call responses do not improve at the same time. Usually, eye contact improves first and then the call response. If this is the case, at what stage does the call-to-call response improve?
Eye contact is an innate habit, and people naturally focus on people when making eye contact. In a neurotypical sense we see people first and then things. In the case of children with autism, there are times where they see things first and do not see people. Because of this they cannot develop an interest and understanding about people, because they are not observing people. Therefore, the desire to interact with people itself cannot be formed. Making eye contact with people means that the instinct of the information processing system that focuses on people is restored. This is a very important part of development. It is really important to see people naturally. This is the first step to recovering from autism.
However, as mentioned the call-to-call response is not an innate response, but a result of social learning. If we think about it – when neurotypical humans hear sounds for instance, the sound of a car or the sound of a washing machine and then there is a person talking directly to you amidst one of those sounds, usually the focus will be on the person talking despite these sounds in the background, sometimes we hear these sounds as well but it seems more of a natural response to listen to the person talking in front of you.
It is said that children with autism are more interested in these mechanical sounds and noises and turn away from human sounds. Hearing human sounds is an instinctive realm. In other words, when you see people, eye contact is formed, and then you can hear people’s voices. However, the call response is noticed when a human voice is heard. Everything you have not seen is an optional area.
In order for children with autism to form a call-to-call response, they must accumulate experiences that reward them when they look in response to a call. We also need to make better choices. Have you ever looked back when someone called your name? When I look back and think that the situation that might follow may be unpleasant or not good, I think there will be experiences like this once in a while. Again, it’s a choice. You do not always look at someone that calls your name. In other words, a stable a calling reaction response can be formed only when negative experiences that result in damage if you turn away without responding to the call are accumulated.
When auditory processing and sensory processing disorders are improved, and educational training and experience that are necessary to respond when one’s name is called are combined, the call-to-call response is stable. In the end, the call-to-call response is formed by improving sensory impairment and accumulating experiences of interaction. In the stage of autism development, eye contact → imitation formation → instruction execution Call-to-call response is stably established in the instruction execution stage. In these states eye contact with children with autism is getting better, but not responding to their names being called? The improvement of eye contact in autistic children indicates that the visual processing system, auditory processing, and sensory processing are improving. Failure to respond to calls means that children with autism are not provided with sufficient enjoyable experiences and interactions. Please remember that interactions with your child must be stable in order to form a call-to-call response.