Colored overlays enhance visual perceptual performance in children with autism spectrum disorders


Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), together with controls matched for age and ability participated in three experiments that assessed the therapeutic benefit of colored overlays. The findings from the first experiment showed that a significantly greater proportion of children with ASD, than controls, increased reading speed when using a colored overlay. This finding was replicated in the second experiment which also showed that therapeutic benefits were only observed when participants were instructed to select colors that improved textual clarity and not when colors were selected on the basis simply of preference. In the final experiment, children were required to discriminate between pictorially presented objects with and without overlays self-selected for improvements in clarity. Participants with ASD, both with and without concurrent intellectual impairment, showed significant gains in performance when using an overlay. The beneficial effects of color overlays and the implications of these results for current neuropsychological models of ASD are discussed

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    Last time updated on February 23, 2012

    This paper was published in Goldsmiths Research Online.

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