Today we welcomed a new family to the programme with a 5 year old little boy with a dual diagnosis of autism and ADHD. The poor little one literally could not keep still and was in a world of his own, but occasionally he would rise to the surface and there would be moments of lucidity where you could see his intelligence. Currently he is lost in a sea of hyper-activity and consequent lack of attentional control.
His world must be turmoil and I watched as he would try to do three different things at once. Visually he liked to watch moving objects, particularly objects which can be indicative of the under-activity of the visual magnocellular pathway, which enables us to detect movement. This is why many children with autism are fascinated with looking at their fingers in front of their eyes or with flapping their hands, or with opening and closing doors, - it is to create movement, - a desperate attempt to feed a pathway which is under-active. Fortunately, we know how to activate this pathway, - it is with exposure to yellow filtered light! (Ray,
N. J. et al, (2005). Yellow Filters Can Improve Magnocellular
Function, Motion Sensitivity, Convergence, Accommodation and Reading.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1039, 283 – 293.