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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

Addy’s eyes…

Updated: May 13, 2022

They say an early sign of autism can be seen in a child’s eyes. According to the National Institutes for Health, “Beginning as young as 2 months of age, infants later diagnosed with autism show a steady decline in eye contact that might be the earliest marker yet for the disorder.” The study/article (found here) is fascinating as scientists have been searching for ways to identify the condition at younger ages, since progression tends to be better with earlier intervention.

At the age of three months, I noticed Addy’s eye contact was off. She would often look at me, but right past me. During interactions or when I called out her name, Addy’s eye contact was hit or miss. Miraculously, the eye contact has gotten a lot better with age/maturity. I have noticed that she makes eye contact when she feels most comfortable. Meaning, if she wants to respond, knows how to respond, or is not focused on something else, she will make eye contact with you. I truly believe her eye contact progression is twofold. First, her understanding that making eye contact is an essential way our society communicates. Second, her becoming more confident (e.g., her ability to speak and communicate effectively).

One might think that an autistic child makes little to no eye contact. This is true in many instances; however, in my experience its more than that. When I look into Addy’s eyes, it’s like she sees a whole other world. I used to think this was a bad thing. Yet now I see the opposite. She sees so much more than I ever will. She takes in every detail, every movement, every light. She notices everything. If there is something out of order, a tiny piece of lint on the ground or a reflection in a mirror. She sees so much more. I believe she truly sees love. I know she can see right to my soul. I know this may sound crazy, but it’s in her eyes. She can read me like no other. It’s her superpower!

Why am I brining all this up? I believe that this early indication of autism helped Addy in the long-term as we were able to provide her therapy at a very young age. Second, instead of looking at her disability, I now see her abilities. Autism used to scare me, now it just makes me see how lucky I am to see the world through Addy’s eyes.

Much love,

Raising Addy

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