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Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas)

On-line version ISSN 1982-0275


SOUSA, Ana Delias de; BOSA, Cleonice Alves  and  HUGO, Cristina Neves. Possible relations among congenital blindness, autistic features and maternal interaction style. Estud. psicol. (Campinas) [online]. 2005, vol.22, n.4, pp.355-364. ISSN 1982-0275.

This study has examined the occurrence of autistic features in children with congenital blindness. Joint attention and symbolic play deficits, and stereotyped body movements were focused. Mother's interaction style was also investigated during playing episodes, while they were trying to engage their children . Eight child-mother dyads, 4 with congenital blindness and 4 sighted children were studied. A home-based interview about child's development and socio-demographic data has been performed, and a free-play session was conducted. Free-play sessions were used for coding both maternal and infant behaviors. The results, that are out of the literature expectations, have brought up only two blind children showed higher play deficits frequencies, and only one mother from the congenital blindness children group who had presented more maternal directive posture compared to the sighted children's mothers. It was also noted the presence of symbolic play in the congenital blindness group. These results suggest that children with congenital blindness may not be at risk, considering the autistic features development, as long as they are properly stimulated by their caregivers who are sensible to their cues and needs.

Keywords : autism; symbolic play; stereotyped behavior; mother child relations.

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