Look into the eyes:
When I was a youth one of our amusements was telling each other ghost stories.  There weren’t as many diversions then as now.  One friend was describing a scene and said that the people saw a bat, “With a crazy look in its eyes.”  Well he lost me right there and then.  So far as I was concerned looking into a person’s eyes told you absolutely nothing about what was going on behind them. 

I later learned that this is not strictly true.  With careful testing some things can be detected.  Some people with severe emotional problems have poor motion pursuit.  The study that always intrigued me the most was one in which the subject was placed in a dark room and shown a single point of white light.  The task was to trace out on a piece of paper the path the light took.  Normal people would trace out a wandering random pattern.  Those emotionally challenged would draw either a single point of a tight little pattern.  In fact the light was not moving at all.  There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but I haven’t a clue what it is.

It now turns out (Avoidence of Eye Contact in Autism NATURE vol. 503 no. 7474 November 7, 2013 page 41 reviewing W. Jones and A. Klin doi:10.1038/nature12715) that there is a preliminary suggestion that children with autism spectrum disorder begin to make eye contact less than normal children beginning at age two months.  My own experience is that less than half of the people I encounter in a day is likely to make eye contact, maybe one in ten.  Women do it more than men and a woman with a male escort will do so at least half the time.  Perhaps I am surrounded by a sea of abnormals.  Or maybe I am the abnormal one and make eye contact more than is appropriate.   

I do have a sneaking suspicion that autism is on the rise because of the stampede to outbreed that so marks our society.  An early appearance of a sign at least does not disprove the possibility.

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