‘Listening to Faces’ examines communication skills of kids with autism

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NEW HAVEN -- Most of us look at our companion's face when they're speaking.

"There's a lot of information on the face, not just identity," explains Julia Irwin, an associate professor of psychology at Southern Connecticut State University. "I know how you feel but I can also see the visible articulation of your speech."

But, children with autism often avoid eye contact, and don't look at other's faces during verbal exchanges.

Does this reduce their ability to detect information, especially in a noisy environment? Does it make learning to talk more difficult? These questions prompted Irwin to spearhead a unique study — using new technology — called Listening to Faces.

The research is gaining traction, prompting participation and hope for new therapies in the future.

Click here for the entire column from The Hartford Courant.

For more information, email listeningtofaces@haskins.yale.edu.