Ok, so the fact that my lil man can't catch a ball (we're working on that :)) really has no relevance here, just think its a cute title. However, hubby and I did notice he doesn't catch a yawn like we do. Google to the rescue! Upon further research, apparently ASD children don't "catch" yawns as often as NT children do. According to the articles I have read, (and I will link them at the end of my blog) researchers theorize this is because ASD kiddos aren't picking up on the social cue of contagious yawning. Apparently so, because hubby and I conducted our own mini experiment last night. 15 times I got my aspie's attention and yawned, and not ONCE did he "catch" it. Hubby tried as well, only about 5 times, but yet again, aspie did not respond, just looked at us like we were freaks! Upon further research it seems scientists believe this may be in part because ASD kids focus on different parts of others' faces. NT people normally look into someones eyes, where as autistic kids focus on one's mouth. (My aspie definately does this) Scientists say this further supports their belief that yawning is based on empathy, and the mimicry that comes with it. In NT people one is more likely to "catch" the yawn of a friend or family member almost EVERY time as opposed to a stranger. They state this is because our ASD kids lack empathy, therefore making it harder for them to read social cues, so they lack the ability to "catch" the yawn. I believe my son does shows signs of empathy, but not always. I know he has a hard time with social cues, but again, not always. He can usually read mine or hubby's cues, but not others. So I wonder why he can"t "catch" our yawns? I guess I will never know, and leave it to the scientists that are still trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. However, if you're sitting home on rainy, drab day, looking for something to do, try to get your aspie to "catch" a yawn. The results may surprise you!
As promised, the links to the articles I read.....