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1. Choose one of the characters in My Sister’s Keeper that you would like to understand more deeply. 2.

1. Choose one of the characters in My Sister’s Keeper that you would like to understand more deeply.

2. Analyze the text in order to understand what “makes this character tick.” You should look for clues about this character by thinking carefully about the experiences that they have had both with individuals and with institutions/organizations, etc.

a. Keep notes and be able to make references and citations to specific passages in the text that support your analysis.
3. Write a carefully crafted essay of 800-1000 words that clearly explains the key principles, beliefs, and experiences that shape and inform this character’s being in their world.

a. As with your Ethics Location Statement, this assignment is about the values, ideas, institutions, relationships, experiences, etc., that have shaped the character’s thinking about how they act in their world.

b. Help your reader to understand what or whom this character relies upon to support their ethical choices.

c. This essay should be written in the first person. You are the author who is interpreting this text in order to understand this character.

MLA Format

2 Autism Spectrum Disorder Blogs Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation Course Name and

2

Autism Spectrum Disorder Blogs

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

Course Name and Number

Professor’s Name

Assignment Due Date

Blog 1: Is encouraging more eye contact likely to be helpful?

I sauntered towards my 9-year-old patient’s home for my routine therapy session. As approached the door, a kid’s shadow could be visible through the window curtains as she headed toward opening the door for me. Unexpectedly, she rushed to his dad and buried her face in his stomach while embracing his waist. She would not even turn to face me. His father enthusiastically told her, “Stacey, greet Harry! He is here to visit you!”

Stacey swiftly waved her hand but kept her face low and hidden. When I gathered data on her way of greeting others, I observed that I would note that she declined to face me when greeting me as any other individual is “expected” to do. However, she was autistic, and people with autistic spectrum disorder usually have challenges meeting the eyes of the people they are interacting with. She would experience the discomfort of looking at my eyes every time other therapists or I visited for home-based therapy sessions. It felt very unfair to accord her a non-passing result on something she was not comfortable with.

It is usually stressful for autistic people to look at other people on the face because they can develop increased anxiety. Autistic people can be more focused on the anxiety and stress triggered by eye contact rather than the conversation they engage in. In a report by Gernsbacher and Yergeau (2019), one participant with autism described his problems with eye contact: “It does not come naturally to me, and I do not appreciate having to give it all the time, especially to people that I do not know. All the stress that is put on doing it makes me more nervous, tense, and scared. Doing it also assumes that I can read the message in another person’s eyes. Don’t count on it! I can look at a person’s eyes and not be able to tell what they are saying to me…”

Autistic people also stress about the discomfort they experience when making eye contact; hence why does society significantly pressure people with autism to keep eye contact? Richman and Bidshahri (2018) highlighted a significant example of what neurotypical individuals experience: when neurotypical people use the elevators, they usually face the door to avoid feeling the uneasiness of their space being occupied. Thus, if neurotypical individuals already find it uncomfortable to make eye contact, why is then a big concern when Stacey could not manage to make eye contact with me while she waved hello?

Some researchers believe that autistic people are not just as interested in pleasing or socialising with others.

When people see a face and socially engage with each other, regardless of whether they are close or strangers, they release feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin. It is transitory and subconscious most of the time, although it reinforces people to find and enjoy the face again. However, this is not usually the case for most people with ASD. Over the years, researchers have been trying to investigate children with ASD for their Theory of Mind skills, including reading facial expressions and looking at things from diverse perspectives. Cuve et al. (2018) believes that autistic children are assumed to have developmental deficits that hinder them from reading others and their emotions. But autism is on a spectrum spanning from brilliantly intelligent and high-functioning to low-functioning non-verbal people, making the assumption so inconsistent.

Over the years, non-autistic researchers have worked desperately to understand why children experiencing autism do not usually like meeting other people’s eyes or considering the perspectives of other individuals.

People are social species who have evolved from profound connections with others and enjoy doing so. People’s eyes are focused on faces minutes after being born, which marks the beginning of the human face fascination. One wonderfully simple idea that has been proposed is the hypothesis that people with ASD do not have given abnormalities or issues with brain functions that support social interaction and emotional recognition; rather, they have not acquired these skills at a professional level compared to most typical individuals. Specifically, this is due to the inherent low interest in socialising with other people. Apparently, parents of children with ASD can explain how challenging it is for them to force their children to do things they do not want to do. Different from non-autistic children who seek acceptance, affection, and praise and are usually willing to carry out tasks that they hardly enjoy to gain them, children with ASD are usually more egocentric. Definitely, this does not imply that children with autism do not have emotions or feelings of love, but they are just not interested in pleasing other people.

In a research study published by Stuart et al. (2019), the researchers claimed that people with ASD usually avoid meeting other people’s gazes because it most likely causes them anxiety, and it is not an intentional presentation of a lack of empathy or feelings. The argument does not only prove what most autistic researchers have been claiming for decades but also indicates that most neurotypical people have been adopting misguided beliefs about eye contact among people with ASD. Therefore, eye contact should not be encouraged among them as a therapeutic intervention.

Zhao et al. (2022) further claims that the brain section usually responsible for helping kids recognise familiar faces is usually oddly activated among autistic individuals, leading to increased anxiety because they get overstimulated. The researchers supported their findings, which indicated that encouraging autistic people to meet other people’s gaze during behavioural therapy sessions could result in negative results, such as high anxiety levels.

“However, by not looking at the eyes, the person with ASD will continue to miss critical social information, and somehow one has to help them to gather all these important cues,” Wang et al. (2018) suggested in the report. “One possible strategy could consist in progressively habituating individuals with ASD to look into the eyes, analogous to the way surgeons habituate to look at open bleeding bodies, and then in incentivizing them to look at the eyes, finding a way to make eye contact somehow less stressful.” The study results supported that most interventions for encouraging eye contact among autistic people lead to more damage than good.

If children are uncomfortable making eye contact during social interactions, therapy should include ways to alleviate the problem. But if meeting another person’s gaze is entirely insignificant to autistic children, their parents and therapists can help them understand why it is critical in typical social life. Non-verbal skills such as gesturing, eye contact, and pointing are considered to occur naturally in kids under a normal development process. However, for children presenting autistic symptoms, teaching them to meet other people’s gazes should not be an issue of major concern.

Wall et al. (2021) claimed that teaching people with ASD to make eye contact is relative to teaching people something that they would hardly adapt to. “There’s no real evidence that improving eye contact leads to better friendships or real-world adjustment,” claimed Wall et al. (2021). Suppose eye contact makes non-autistic people more comfortable, then it is the responsibility of neurotypical people to learn to adapt to the unsocial characteristic of autistic individuals. Although these arguments are valid, teaching children to meet other people’s gazes is a helpful part of their life.

Historically, eye contact is considered one of human people’s most critical survival attributes. It helps infants with the ability to gain attention because they cannot express themselves verbally. Essentially, eye contact is not just about two people locking their eyes together, but rather it is about learning to make eye contact in an area where learning can occur. Morie et al. (2019) supported this argument saying, “simply, solid eye contact creates opportunities to be socially motivated and learn.” They further provided an example that, in order to learn math, one has to look at the chalkboard; therefore, all learning is usually socially mediated, especially early in early childhood. Accordingly, encouraging eye contact is important to help autistic children learn new information. “To bring it together, eye contact, reading faces, and appreciating social interaction are critical, fundamental building blocks for learning,” says Morie et al. (2019).

Most parents with autistic children have learned that eye contact is meaningful, and I have also encouraged that during therapy sessions. Jessica Williams, a mother to a 6-year-old autistic boy, has been using behavioural science to make eye contact as fun and play-based as possible to help the skill become natural to her son over time. “I teach him eye contact by holding his favourite food or toy around three inches from his face, right in front of his nose; when he shifts his gaze towards it, I make eye contact with him and enthusiastically applaud him and allow him to access the food or toy,” says Jessica. “It is usually a great approach to capture his motivation for his toy or food and use that to train him eye contact while connecting both things with social praise.”

So, is encouraging eye contact among children with autism helpful? The answer to this question is quite difficult as it relies on the subject individual. If a person with ASD can acquire how to enhance their social ability, then it would be important for them to practice, although if one feels that it is too traumatic to do it, then their decision should be valued and prioritised. Particularly if one responds and learns better when not making eye contact. Therefore, society should start learning when eye contact among people with ASD is effective and when it can cause more damage than benefit.

Blog 2: To what extent are we in control of our own emotions and what evidence is there that this is different in people on the autism spectrum?

The question of whether people can control their emotions has resulted in controversial debates over the years. Recently, I asked Samantha, my 14-year-old sister, if she thought that emotions, generally, can be controlled. She answered me with a reluctant yes, prior to confirming that controlling emotions was the most complex thing one can do.

Do you believe there is a way, I continued, that would enable people to regulate emotions easily? She’d be interested, she said, although I should not count on her using the approach most of the time. Besides the issues of supporting teenage passions, I observed something critical about her beliefs concerning feelings: that it is not only conceivable to regulate them but that emotions are not bad. At times for pleasure, this is used in playing along with the dynamic changes, even the most annoying feelings, such as frustration, and the sizzling ones, such as anger.

Although many researches in psychology explore the impact of feelings on a person’s welfare, most recent studies show that the principles people have about emotions have significant effects on their psychological wellbeing. Consider the concept of taking charge of individual emotions. Smith and White (2020) explored the hypothesis of whether emotions are manageable (modulated and shaped according to will of an individual) or they are overwhelming (occur randomly and leave their harmony). As innocuous as they appear, people pay high costs for these beliefs: they are not only risk factors for misery but also outline the strategies used to control emotions on a daily basis.

According to a study by Peñuelas-Calvo et al. (2021), humans are all theorists of emotions, choosing for themselves what they believe about emotions. The researchers study on beliefs on emotion, argued that, “On average, it’s beneficial to believe that emotions are good, useful experiences, and not necessarily harmful, damaging experiences; it’s also beneficial to believe that emotions are controllable.” Although not firmly so, Megías-Robles et al. (2020) warns, “If you think that emotions are completely controllable all the time, imagine how stressful that must be in moments where you aren’t able to reign in your emotions.”

In essence, the notion of whether emotions can be controlled depends on what a person means by “emotion” and “control.” Emotions are usually multifaceted experiences. People have internal independent experiences, physiological reactions, and facial lexes. Some aspects are easier to take charge of than others. For instance, masking the external display of emotions could be easier in some situations than shifting how one feels. However, this depends on the intensity of emotions, where strong emotions are more complex to regulate than less strong emotions. Paradoxically, it could not be meaningful not to attempt to regulate individual emotions. If a person just accepts their sensitive experiences and allows them to manage their normal course, they can vanish more quickly. Accordingly, emotional acknowledgement is a powerful approach to emotional control – it can aid a person feel better, partially because they do not perpetuate their negative emotions. The goal is not to usually eradicate all emotions but rather to keep them at the right level and in the appropriate setting and recuperate quickly.

However, the ability to control emotions differs among people who have ASD. Anxiety, depression, irritability, tantrums, and self-injury are some symptoms of autism, although they are not believed to be core symptoms of the condition. McVey et al. (2021) adopted a functional MRI to indicate that – in the capability to control emotions, the brain action in autistic individuals is exceptionally unlike than brain ability in individuals without ASD.

The outcomes, published in the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorder, a special issue about emotional control, argue that enhancing prefrontal cortex activity can directly assist people with ASD to control their emotions and advance severe symptoms related to the conditions, which affects most people. The outcomes suggest that emotion control symptoms have a significant biological narrative that can be visualised through functional MRI. However, the symptoms do not appear to be merely connected with or an outcome of key symptoms of autism, such as verbal and non-verbal communication issues, social interaction problems, repetitive behaviours, and other psychological problems.

Shirayama et al. (2022) claimed that “this research adds to the growing awareness that although autism is diagnosed on the basis of social impairment and repetitive behaviours, the importance of emotion regulation and all the behaviours that come with it — depression, tantrums, meltdowns, irritability — are authentic and should be a focus of clinical services.”

Parents of children with ASD know that the symptoms of the condition can be pervasive. Autistic children often do not have the ability to manage complex emotional situations, which lead to tantrums and meltdowns.

Dichter (2015), conducted a study involving 15 controls and 15 other young adults aged between 18 and 30 years with ASD. Since it is well believed that autistic individuals have issues controlling their emotions, the researchers spent 40 minutes with every respondent to train them to modify their perception of emotional regulation before participating in an MRI scanner. While conducting the study during the fMRI scanning, all participants were presented with a line of pictures with human faces without expressions. During viewing process of each picture, the respondents were required to provide positive opinions regarding the picture, give negative responses, or report unchanged emotional reactions (Dichter, 2015). The investigator also adopted eye-monitoring approaches to ensure that the respondents observed the pictures continuously and to assess at high resolution the size of the pupils of each respondent. It recognised that when individuals apply cognitive efforts, their pupils dilate, such as when attempting to recall the name of a person or changing the emotional reaction to a situation. Besides reports from the participants, the methods generated balances and checks that guaranteed data accuracy gathered from brain scans.

The findings showed that the prefrontal cortex worked effortlessly to control the emotional reactions occurring from the limbic system in the control group. The findings confirmed what other research indicated. The brain scans on the participants with ASD were different. “The prefrontal cortex did not come online to the same extent,” Dichter (2015) said. “It was as though the brain region needed to work hard to regulate emotional responses couldn’t activate to the same degree as it did in people without autism. This limited activation of the prefrontal cortex, not surprisingly, resulted in less modulation of the limbic regions.”

The study data indicated that participants committed themselves to meeting the research requirements. They transformed their emotional reactions to the picture. However, their brain scans found that people with ASD do not utilise the prefrontal cortex like people without autism (Dichter, 2015). Therefore, when faced with emotional situations, those with ASD cannot control emotions to the level at which people without ASD can. Accordingly, this could result in the “associated symptoms,” including anxiety, irritability, and tantrums, which are pervasive.

Due to the inability to control emotions, autistic people can be considered to have few or do not have any emotions, which is nothing further from the truth. Those with autism could not be further than the truth. Those with ASD could be emotional for various reasons or demonstrate their emotions differently, although they just have as many feelings as anybody else. In some instances, people with autism can even be more emotional than neurotypical people or can have issues expressing their emotions and need help to express them.

Provided that the symptoms of autism are significantly misunderstood, most people with ASD find their way to diagnosis. Regarding people with ASD as unable to regulate their emotions is not downright misguided but also confirms that autistics are not going to establish their way to self-awareness and diagnosis. It is also dehumanizing and unethical.

The emotional deviations between autistic and non-autistic people can result in a significant conflict. When people uphold the maxim of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it fails autistic people without autism ones. Non-autistic people believe that autistic people are invalidating, thoughtless, unempathetic, and invalidating. People with ASD feel the same about normal people; although because non-autistic people are the majority, then autistic people become victims of being pathologized. “Emotions are mostly complex to control, understand, and even interpret, even for individuals without ASD,” Li et al. (2022) said. “Therefore, it is normal to have some challenges controlling the emotions they transmit to people who function differently from them.”

References

Cuve, H. C., Gao, Y., & Fuse, A. (2018). Is it avoidance or hypoarousal? A systematic review of emotion recognition, eye-tracking, and psychophysiological studies in young adults with autism spectrum conditions. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 55, 1-13.

Dichter, G. (2015, January 27). MRIs link impaired brain activity to inability to regulate emotions in autism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150127100018.htm

Gernsbacher, M. A., & Yergeau, M. (2019). Empirical failures of the claim that autistic people lack a theory of mind. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 7(1), 102.

Li, T. S., Gau, S. S. F., & Chou, T. L. (2022). Exploring social emotion processing in autism: evaluating the reading the mind in the eyes test using network analysis. BMC psychiatry, 22(1), 1-11.

McVey, A. J., Schiltz, H. K., Coffman, M., Antezana, L., & Magnus, B. (2021). A preliminary psychometric analysis of the difficulties with emotion regulation scale (DERS) Among Autistic Adolescents and Adults: Factor Structure, Reliability, and Validity. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 1-20.

Megías-Robles, A., Gutiérrez-Cobo, M. J., Cabello, R., Gómez-Leal, R., Baron-Cohen, S., & Fernández-Berrocal, P. (2020). The ‘Reading the mind in the Eyes’ test and emotional intelligence. Royal Society open science, 7(9), 201305.

Morie, K. P., Jackson, S., Zhai, Z. W., Potenza, M. N., & Dritschel, B. (2019). Mood disorders in high-functioning autism: The importance of alexithymia and emotional regulation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(7), 2935-2945.

Peñuelas-Calvo, I., Sareen, A., Porras-Segovia, A., Cegla-Schvatzman, F. B., & Fernandez-Berrocal, P. (2021). The Association Between Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test Performance and Intelligence Quotient in Children and Adolescents With Asperger Syndrome. Frontiers in psychiatry, 12.

Richman, K. A., & Bidshahri, R. (2018). Autism, theory of mind, and the reactive attitudes. Bioethics, 32(1), 43-49.

Shirayama, Y., Matsumoto, K., Hamatani, S., Muneoka, K., Okada, A., & Sato, K. (2022). Associations among autistic traits, cognitive and affective empathy, and personality traits in adults with autism spectrum disorder and no intellectual disability. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 1-12.

Smith, I. C., & White, S. W. (2020). Socio-emotional determinants of depressive symptoms in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Autism, 24(4), 995-1010.

Stuart, N., Whitehouse, A., Palermo, R., Bothe, E., & Badcock, N. (2022). Eye Gaze in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of Neural Evidence for the Eye Avoidance Hypothesis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-22.

Wall, N. G., Smith, O., Campbell, L. E., Loughland, C., Wallis, M., Henskens, F., & Schall, U. (2021). E-technology social support programs for autistic children: Can they work?. World Journal of Psychiatry, 11(12), 1239.

Wang, Q., Lu, L., Zhang, Q., Fang, F., Zou, X., & Yi, L. (2018). Eye avoidance in young children with autism spectrum disorder is modulated by emotional facial expressions. Journal of abnormal psychology, 127(7), 722.

Zhao, Q., Guo, Q., Shi, Z., Cai, Z., Zhang, L., Li, D., … & Zhang, L. (2022). Promoting gaze toward the eyes of emotional faces in individuals with high autistic traits using group cognitive behavioral therapy: An eye-tracking study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 306, 115-123.

I walked up to my 9-year-old patient’s home door and knocked on

1. Choose one of the characters in My Sister’s Keeper that you would like to understand more deeply. 2. Writing Assignment Help I walked up to my 9-year-old patient’s home door and knocked on the door. A kid’s shadow could be visible through the window curtains as she headed toward me. She unlocked the door opening it for me. Unexpectedly, she ran to his dad and buried her face in his stomach while hugging his waist. She would not even look at me. His father enthusiastically told her, “Stacey, say hi to Harry! He is here to play with you!”

Stacey quickly waved her hand but kept her face low and hidden. When I gathered data on her way of greeting others, I observed that I would have to note “incorrect.” She lacked eye contact when greeting me as any other individual is “expected” to do. However, she had autism, and autistic people usually have challenges meeting the eyes of the people they are interacting with. She would have to experience the discomfort of meeting my eyes every time other instructional professionals or I visited for in-home therapy sessions. It felt like it was very unfair to accord her a non-passing result on something she was not comfortable doing.

It is usually stressful for autistic people to make eye contact because they can experience increased anxiety. Autistic people can be more focused on the anxiety and stress triggered by eye contact rather than the conversation they engage in. In a report by 999999, one participant with autism described his problems with eye contact: “It does not come naturally to me, and I do not appreciate having to give it all the time, especially to people that I do not know. All the stress that is put on doing it makes me more nervous, tense, and scared. Doing it also assumes that I can read the message in another person’s eyes. Don’t count on it! I can look at a person’s eyes and not be able to tell what they are saying to me…”

Autistic people also stress about the discomfort they experience when making eye contact; hence why does society significantly pressure people with autism to keep eye contact? 99999 highlighted a significant example of what neurotypical individuals experience: when non-autistic people use the elevators, they usually face the door to avoid feeling the uneasiness of their space being occupied. Thus, if neurotypical individuals already find it uncomfortable to make eye contact, why is then a big concern when Stacey could not manage to make eye contact with me while she waved hello?

Some researchers believe that autistic people are not just as interested in pleasing or socialising with others.

When people see a face and socially engage with each other, regardless of whether they are close or strangers, they release feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin. It is transitory and subconscious most of the time, although it reinforces people to find and enjoy the face again. However, this is not usually the case for most people with ASD. Over the years, researchers have been trying to investigate children with ASD for their Theory of Mind skills, including reading facial expressions and looking at things from diverse perspectives. 9999 believes that autistic children are assumed to have developmental deficits that hinder them from reading others and their emotions. But autism is on a spectrum spanning from brilliantly intelligent and high-functioning to low-functioning non-verbal people, making the assumption so inconsistent.

Over the years, non-autistic researchers have worked desperately to understand why children experiencing autism do not usually like meeting other people’s eyes or considering the perspectives of other individuals.

People are social species who have evolved from profound connections with others and enjoy doing so. People’s eyes are focused on faces minutes after being born, which marks the beginning of the human face fascination. One wonderfully simple idea that has been proposed is the hypothesis that people with ASD do not have given abnormalities or issues with brain functions that support social interaction and emotional recognition; rather, they have not acquired these skills at a professional level compared to most typical individuals. Specifically, this is due to the inherent low interest in socialising with other people. Apparently, parents of children with ASD can explain how challenging it is for them to force their children to do things they do not want to do. Different from non-autistic children who seek acceptance, affection, and praise and are usually willing to carry out tasks that they hardly enjoy to gain them, children with ASD are usually more egocentric. Definitely, this does not imply that children with autism do not have emotions or feelings of love, but they are just not interested in pleasing other people.

In a research study published by 9999, the researchers claimed that people with ASD usually avoid meeting other people’s gazes because it most likely causes them anxiety, and it is not an intentional presentation of a lack of empathy or feelings. The argument does not only prove what most autistic researchers have been claiming for decades but also indicates that most neurotypical people have been adopting misguided beliefs about eye contact among people with ASD. Therefore, eye contact should not be encouraged among them as a therapeutic intervention.

99999 further claims that the brain section usually responsible for helping kids recognise familiar faces is usually oddly activated among autistic individuals, leading to increased anxiety because they get overstimulated. The researchers supported their findings, which indicated that encouraging autistic people to meet other people’s gaze during behavioural therapy sessions could result in negative results, such as high anxiety levels.

“However, by not looking at the eyes, the person with ASD will continue to miss critical social information, and somehow one has to help them to gather all these important cues,” 99999 suggested in the report. “One possible strategy could consist in progressively habituating individuals with ASD to look into the eyes, analogous to the way surgeons habituate to look at open bleeding bodies, and then in incentivizing them to look at the eyes, finding a way to make eye contact somehow less stressful.” The study results supported that most interventions for encouraging eye contact among autistic people lead to more damage than good.

If children are uncomfortable making eye contact during social interactions, therapy should include ways to alleviate the problem. But if meeting another person’s gaze is entirely insignificant to autistic children, their parents and therapists can help them understand why it is critical in typical social life. Non-verbal skills such as gesturing, eye contact, and pointing are considered to occur naturally in kids under a normal development process. However, for children presenting autistic symptoms, teaching them to meet other people’s gazes should not be an issue of major concern.

999999, claimed that teaching people with ASD to make eye contact is relative to teaching people something that they would hardly adapt to. “There’s no real evidence that improving eye contact leads to better friendships or real-world adjustment,” claimed 9999. Suppose eye contact makes non-autistic people more comfortable, then it is the responsibility of neurotypical people to learn to adapt to the unsocial characteristic of autistic individuals. Although these arguments are valid, teaching children to meet other people’s gazes is a helpful part of their life.

Historically, eye contact is considered one of human people’s most critical survival attributes. It helps infants with the ability to gain attention because they cannot express themselves verbally. Essentially, eye contact is not just about two people locking their eyes together, but rather it is about learning to make eye contact in an area where learning can occur. 99999 supported this argument saying, “simply, solid eye contact creates opportunities to be socially motivated and learn.” They further provided an example that, in order to learn math, one has to look at the chalkboard; therefore, all learning is usually socially mediated, especially early in early childhood. Accordingly, encouraging eye contact is important to help autistic children learn new information. “To bring it together, eye contact, reading faces, and appreciating social interaction are critical, fundamental building blocks for learning,” says 9999.

Most parents with autistic children have learned that eye contact is meaningful, and I have also encouraged that during therapy sessions. Jessica Williams, a mother to a 6-year-old autistic boy, has been using behavioural science to make eye contact as fun and play-based as possible to help the skill become natural to her son over time. “I teach him eye contact by holding his favourite food or toy around three inches from his face, right in front of his nose; when he shifts his gaze towards it, I make eye contact with him and enthusiastically applaud him and allow him to access the food or toy,” says Jessica. “It is usually a great approach to capture his motivation for his toy or food and use that to train him eye contact while connecting both things with social praise.”

So, is encouraging eye contact among children with autism helpful? The answer to this question is quite difficult as it depends on the subject individual. If a person with ASD can learn how to enhance their social skill, then it would be important for them to practice, although if one feels that it is too stressful to do it, then their comfort should be respected. Particularly if one responds and learns better when not making eye contact. Therefore, society should start learning when eye contact among people with ASD is effective and when it can cause more damage than benefit.

Blog 2: To what extent are we in control of our own emotions and what evidence is there that this is different in people on the autism spectrum?

The question of whether people can control their emotions has resulted in controversial debates over the years. Recently, I asked Samantha, my 14-year-old sister, if she believed that emotions, generally, can be controlled. She gave me a reluctant yes, prior to confirming that it was the most complex thing to do.

What if there was a way, I continued, that would enable people to regulate emotions easily? She’d be interested, she said, although I should not count on her using the approach most of the time. Besides the issues of befriending pre-adolescent passions, I observed something critical about her beliefs concerning emotions: that it is not only possible to regulate them but that emotions are not bad. At times for pleasure, this is used in playing along with the dynamic changes, even the most annoying feelings, such as frustration, and the sizzling ones, such as anger.

Although many studies in psychology explore the impact of emotions on a person’s well-being, most recent studies show that the beliefs people hold about emotions have significant effects on their psychological health. Consider the concept of taking charge of individual emotions. 999999 explored the hypothesis of whether emotions are controllable (modulated and shaped according to individual will) or they are uncontrollable (occur randomly and leave their harmony). As innocuous as they appear, people pay high costs for these beliefs: they are not only risk factors for depression but also outline the strategies used to control emotions on a daily basis.

According to a study by 9999 from the University of 999999, humans are all theorists of emotions, choosing for themselves what they believe about emotions. 999999’s research on emotion beliefs, the answer is apparent: “On average, it’s beneficial to believe that emotions are good, useful experiences, and not necessarily harmful, damaging experiences; it’s also beneficial to believe that emotions are controllable.” Although not firmly so, 999 warns, “If you think that emotions are completely controllable all the time, imagine how stressful that must be in moments where you aren’t able to reign in your emotions.”

In essence, the notion of whether emotions can be controlled depends on what a person means by “emotion” and “control.” Emotions are usually multifaceted experiences. People have internal subjective experiences, physiological reactions, and facial expressions. Some aspects are easier to take charge of than others. For instance, masking the external display of emotions could be easier in some situations than changing how one feels. However, this depends on the intensity of emotions, where intense emotions are more complex to regulate than less strong emotions. Ironically, it could not be meaningful not to attempt to regulate individual emotions. If a person just accepts their emotional experiences and allows them to manage their natural course, they can vanish more quickly. Accordingly, this is why emotional acceptance is a powerful approach to emotional control – it can help a person feel better, partially because they do not perpetuate their negative emotions. The goal is not to usually eradicate all emotions but rather to keep them at the right degree and in the appropriate context and recover quickly.

However, the ability to control emotions differs among people who have ASD. Anxiety, depression, irritability, tantrums, and self-injury are some symptoms of autism, although they are not believed to be core symptoms of the condition. 9999 adopted a functional MRI to indicate that – in the ability to control emotions, the brain activity in autistic individuals is exceptionally different than brain activity in individuals without ASD.

The outcomes, published in the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorder, a special issue about emotional control, argue that enhancing prefrontal cortex activity can directly assist people with ASD to control their emotions and advance severe symptoms related to the conditions, which affects most people. The outcomes suggest that emotion control symptoms have a significant biological narrative that can be visualised through functional MRI. However, the symptoms do not appear to be merely connected with or an outcome of key symptoms of autism, such as verbal and non-verbal communication issues, social interaction problems, repetitive behaviours, and other psychological problems.

999999, a professor of psychology and psychiatry, claimed that “this research adds to the growing awareness that although autism is diagnosed on the basis of social impairment and repetitive behaviours, the importance of emotion regulation and all the behaviours that come with it — depression, tantrums, meltdowns, irritability — are authentic and should be a focus of clinical services.”

Parents of children with ASD know that the symptoms of the condition can be pervasive. Autistic children often do not have the ability to manage complex emotional situations, which lead to tantrums and meltdowns.

The Institute of Developmental studies in 999999, under 9999, conducted a study involving 15 controls and 15 other young adults aged between 18 and 30 years with ASD. Since it is well believed that people with autism have issues controlling their emotions, the researchers spent 40 minutes with every respondent to train them to change their perception of emotional regulation before participating in an MRI scanner. While conducting the study during the fMRI scanning, all participants were presented with a line of pictures with human faces without expressions. During viewing each picture, the participants were required to provide positive opinions regarding the picture, give negative responses, or leave their emotional reactions rigid. The researchers also adopted eye-monitoring approaches to ensure that the respondents viewed the pictures continuously and to assess at high resolution the size of the pupils of each participant. It recognised that when people apply cognitive efforts, their pupils dilate, such as when attempting to recall the name of a person or changing the emotional reaction to a situation. Besides reports from the participants, the methods generated balances and checks that guaranteed data accuracy gathered from brain scans.

The findings showed that the prefrontal cortex worked effortlessly to control the emotional reactions occurring from the limbic system in the control group. The findings confirmed what other research indicated. The brain scans on the participants with ASD were different. “The prefrontal cortex did not come online to the same extent,” 99999 said. “It was as though the brain region needed to work hard to regulate emotional responses couldn’t activate to the same degree as it did in people without autism. This limited activation of the prefrontal cortex, not surprisingly, resulted in less modulation of the limbic regions.”

The study data indicated that participants committed themselves to meeting the research requirements. They transformed their emotional reactions to the picture. However, their brain scans found that people with ASD do not utilise the prefrontal cortex like people without autism. Therefore, when faced with emotional situations, those with ASD cannot control emotions to the level at which people without ASD can. Accordingly, this could result in the “associated symptoms,” including anxiety, irritability, and tantrums, which are pervasive.

Due to the inability to control emotions, autistic people can be considered to have few or do not have any emotions, which is nothing further from the truth. Those with autism could not be further than the truth. Those with ASD could be emotional for various reasons or demonstrate their emotions differently, although they just have as many feelings as anybody else. In some instances, people with autism can even be more emotional than neurotypical people or can have issues expressing their emotions and need help to express them.

Provided that the symptoms of autism are significantly misunderstood, most people with ASD find their way to diagnosis. Regarding people with ASD as unable to regulate their emotions is not downright misguided but also confirms that autistics are not going to establish their way to self-awareness and diagnosis. It is also dehumanizing and unethical.

The emotional deviations between autistic and non-autistic people can result in a significant conflict. When people uphold the maxim of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it fails autistic people without autism ones. Non-autistic people believe that autistic people are invalidating, thoughtless, unempathetic, and invalidating. People with ASD feel the same about normal people; although because non-autistic are the majority, then autistic people become victims of being pathologized. “Emotions are mostly complex to control, understand, and even interpret, even for individuals without ASD,” 9999 said. “Therefore, it is normal to have some challenges controlling the emotions they transmit to people who function differently from them.”

I sauntered towards my 9-year-old patient’s home for my routine therapy session.

I sauntered towards my 9-year-old patient’s home for my routine therapy session. As approached the door, a kid’s shadow could be visible through the window curtains as she headed toward opening the door for me. Unexpectedly, she rushed to his dad and buried her face in his stomach while embracing his waist. She would not even turn to face me. His father enthusiastically told her, “Stacey, greet Harry! He is here to visit you!”

Stacey swiftly waved her hand but kept her face low and hidden. When I gathered data on her way of greeting others, I observed that I would note that she declined to face me when greeting me as any other individual is “expected” to do. However, she was autistic, and people with autistic spectrum disorder usually have challenges meeting the eyes of the people they are interacting with. She would experience the discomfort of looking at my eyes every time other therapists or I visited for home-based therapy sessions. It felt very unfair to accord her a non-passing result on something she was not comfortable with.

It is usually stressful for autistic people to look at other people on the face because they can develop increased anxiety. Autistic people can be more focused on the anxiety and stress triggered by eye contact rather than the conversation they engage in. In a report by 999999, one participant with autism described his problems with eye contact: “It does not come naturally to me, and I do not appreciate having to give it all the time, especially to people that I do not know. All the stress that is put on doing it makes me more nervous, tense, and scared. Doing it also assumes that I can read the message in another person’s eyes. Don’t count on it! I can look at a person’s eyes and not be able to tell what they are saying to me…”

Autistic people also stress about the discomfort they experience when making eye contact; hence why does society significantly pressure people with autism to keep eye contact? 99999 highlighted a significant example of what neurotypical individuals experience: when neurotypical people use the elevators, they usually face the door to avoid feeling the uneasiness of their space being occupied. Thus, if neurotypical individuals already find it uncomfortable to make eye contact, why is then a big concern when Stacey could not manage to make eye contact with me while she waved hello?

Some researchers believe that autistic people are not just as interested in pleasing or socialising with others.

When people see a face and socially engage with each other, regardless of whether they are close or strangers, they release feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin. It is transitory and subconscious most of the time, although it reinforces people to find and enjoy the face again. However, this is not usually the case for most people with ASD. Over the years, researchers have been trying to investigate children with ASD for their Theory of Mind skills, including reading facial expressions and looking at things from diverse perspectives. 9999 believes that autistic children are assumed to have developmental deficits that hinder them from reading others and their emotions. But autism is on a spectrum spanning from brilliantly intelligent and high-functioning to low-functioning non-verbal people, making the assumption so inconsistent.

Over the years, non-autistic researchers have worked desperately to understand why children experiencing autism do not usually like meeting other people’s eyes or considering the perspectives of other individuals.

People are social species who have evolved from profound connections with others and enjoy doing so. People’s eyes are focused on faces minutes after being born, which marks the beginning of the human face fascination. One wonderfully simple idea that has been proposed is the hypothesis that people with ASD do not have given abnormalities or issues with brain functions that support social interaction and emotional recognition; rather, they have not acquired these skills at a professional level compared to most typical individuals. Specifically, this is due to the inherent low interest in socialising with other people. Apparently, parents of children with ASD can explain how challenging it is for them to force their children to do things they do not want to do. Different from non-autistic children who seek acceptance, affection, and praise and are usually willing to carry out tasks that they hardly enjoy to gain them, children with ASD are usually more egocentric. Definitely, this does not imply that children with autism do not have emotions or feelings of love, but they are just not interested in pleasing other people.

In a research study published by 9999, the researchers claimed that people with ASD usually avoid meeting other people’s gazes because it most likely causes them anxiety, and it is not an intentional presentation of a lack of empathy or feelings. The argument does not only prove what most autistic researchers have been claiming for decades but also indicates that most neurotypical people have been adopting misguided beliefs about eye contact among people with ASD. Therefore, eye contact should not be encouraged among them as a therapeutic intervention.

99999 further claims that the brain section usually responsible for helping kids recognise familiar faces is usually oddly activated among autistic individuals, leading to increased anxiety because they get overstimulated. The researchers supported their findings, which indicated that encouraging autistic people to meet other people’s gaze during behavioural therapy sessions could result in negative results, such as high anxiety levels.

“However, by not looking at the eyes, the person with ASD will continue to miss critical social information, and somehow one has to help them to gather all these important cues,” 99999 suggested in the report. “One possible strategy could consist in progressively habituating individuals with ASD to look into the eyes, analogous to the way surgeons habituate to look at open bleeding bodies, and then in incentivizing them to look at the eyes, finding a way to make eye contact somehow less stressful.” The study results supported that most interventions for encouraging eye contact among autistic people lead to more damage than good.

If children are uncomfortable making eye contact during social interactions, therapy should include ways to alleviate the problem. But if meeting another person’s gaze is entirely insignificant to autistic children, their parents and therapists can help them understand why it is critical in typical social life. Non-verbal skills such as gesturing, eye contact, and pointing are considered to occur naturally in kids under a normal development process. However, for children presenting autistic symptoms, teaching them to meet other people’s gazes should not be an issue of major concern.

999999, claimed that teaching people with ASD to make eye contact is relative to teaching people something that they would hardly adapt to. “There’s no real evidence that improving eye contact leads to better friendships or real-world adjustment,” claimed 9999. Suppose eye contact makes non-autistic people more comfortable, then it is the responsibility of neurotypical people to learn to adapt to the unsocial characteristic of autistic individuals. Although these arguments are valid, teaching children to meet other people’s gazes is a helpful part of their life.

Historically, eye contact is considered one of human people’s most critical survival attributes. It helps infants with the ability to gain attention because they cannot express themselves verbally. Essentially, eye contact is not just about two people locking their eyes together, but rather it is about learning to make eye contact in an area where learning can occur. 99999 supported this argument saying, “simply, solid eye contact creates opportunities to be socially motivated and learn.” They further provided an example that, in order to learn math, one has to look at the chalkboard; therefore, all learning is usually socially mediated, especially early in early childhood. Accordingly, encouraging eye contact is important to help autistic children learn new information. “To bring it together, eye contact, reading faces, and appreciating social interaction are critical, fundamental building blocks for learning,” says 9999.

Most parents with autistic children have learned that eye contact is meaningful, and I have also encouraged that during therapy sessions. Jessica Williams, a mother to a 6-year-old autistic boy, has been using behavioural science to make eye contact as fun and play-based as possible to help the skill become natural to her son over time. “I teach him eye contact by holding his favourite food or toy around three inches from his face, right in front of his nose; when he shifts his gaze towards it, I make eye contact with him and enthusiastically applaud him and allow him to access the food or toy,” says Jessica. “It is usually a great approach to capture his motivation for his toy or food and use that to train him eye contact while connecting both things with social praise.”

So, is encouraging eye contact among children with autism helpful? The answer to this question is quite difficult as it relies on the subject individual. If a person with ASD can acquire how to enhance their social ability, then it would be important for them to practice, although if one feels that it is too traumatic to do it, then their decision should be valued and prioritised. Particularly if one responds and learns better when not making eye contact. Therefore, society should start learning when eye contact among people with ASD is effective and when it can cause more damage than benefit.

Blog 2: To what extent are we in control of our own emotions and what evidence is there that this is different in people on the autism spectrum?

The question of whether people can control their emotions has resulted in controversial debates over the years. Recently, I asked Samantha, my 14-year-old sister, if she thought that emotions, generally, can be controlled. She answered me with a reluctant yes, prior to confirming that controlling emotions was the most complex thing one can do.

Do you believe there is a way, I continued, that would enable people to regulate emotions easily? She’d be interested, she said, although I should not count on her using the approach most of the time. Besides the issues of supporting teenage passions, I observed something critical about her beliefs concerning feelings: that it is not only conceivable to regulate them but that emotions are not bad. At times for pleasure, this is used in playing along with the dynamic changes, even the most annoying feelings, such as frustration, and the sizzling ones, such as anger.

Although many researches in psychology explore the impact of feelings on a person’s welfare, most recent studies show that the principles people have about emotions have significant effects on their psychological wellbeing. Consider the concept of taking charge of individual emotions. 999999 explored the hypothesis of whether emotions are manageable (modulated and shaped according to will of an individual) or they are overwhelming (occur randomly and leave their harmony). As innocuous as they appear, people pay high costs for these beliefs: they are not only risk factors for misery but also outline the strategies used to control emotions on a daily basis.

According to a study by 9999 from the University of 999999, humans are all theorists of emotions, choosing for themselves what they believe about emotions. 999999’s study on beliefs on emotion, argued that, “On average, it’s beneficial to believe that emotions are good, useful experiences, and not necessarily harmful, damaging experiences; it’s also beneficial to believe that emotions are controllable.” Although not firmly so, 999 warns, “If you think that emotions are completely controllable all the time, imagine how stressful that must be in moments where you aren’t able to reign in your emotions.”

In essence, the notion of whether emotions can be controlled depends on what a person means by “emotion” and “control.” Emotions are usually multifaceted experiences. People have internal independent experiences, physiological reactions, and facial lexes. Some aspects are easier to take charge of than others. For instance, masking the external display of emotions could be easier in some situations than shifting how one feels. However, this depends on the intensity of emotions, where strong emotions are more complex to regulate than less strong emotions. Paradoxically, it could not be meaningful not to attempt to regulate individual emotions. If a person just accepts their sensitive experiences and allows them to manage their normal course, they can vanish more quickly. Accordingly, emotional acknowledgement is a powerful approach to emotional control – it can aid a person feel better, partially because they do not perpetuate their negative emotions. The goal is not to usually eradicate all emotions but rather to keep them at the right level and in the appropriate setting and recuperate quickly.

However, the ability to control emotions differs among people who have ASD. Anxiety, depression, irritability, tantrums, and self-injury are some symptoms of autism, although they are not believed to be core symptoms of the condition. 9999 adopted a functional MRI to indicate that – in the capability to control emotions, the brain action in autistic individuals is exceptionally unlike than brain ability in individuals without ASD.

The outcomes, published in the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorder, a special issue about emotional control, argue that enhancing prefrontal cortex activity can directly assist people with ASD to control their emotions and advance severe symptoms related to the conditions, which affects most people. The outcomes suggest that emotion control symptoms have a significant biological narrative that can be visualised through functional MRI. However, the symptoms do not appear to be merely connected with or an outcome of key symptoms of autism, such as verbal and non-verbal communication issues, social interaction problems, repetitive behaviours, and other psychological problems.

999999, a professor of psychology and psychiatry, claimed that “this research adds to the growing awareness that although autism is diagnosed on the basis of social impairment and repetitive behaviours, the importance of emotion regulation and all the behaviours that come with it — depression, tantrums, meltdowns, irritability — are authentic and should be a focus of clinical services.”

Parents of children with ASD know that the symptoms of the condition can be pervasive. Autistic children often do not have the ability to manage complex emotional situations, which lead to tantrums and meltdowns.

The Institute of Developmental studies in 999999, under 9999, conducted a study involving 15 controls and 15 other young adults aged between 18 and 30 years with ASD. Since it is well believed that autistic individuals have issues controlling their emotions, the researchers spent 40 minutes with every respondent to train them to modify their perception of emotional regulation before participating in an MRI scanner. While conducting the study during the fMRI scanning, all participants were presented with a line of pictures with human faces without expressions. During viewing process of each picture, the respondents were required to provide positive opinions regarding the picture, give negative responses, or report unchanged emotional reactions. The investigators also adopted eye-monitoring approaches to ensure that the respondents observed the pictures continuously and to assess at high resolution the size of the pupils of each respondent. It recognised that when individuals apply cognitive efforts, their pupils dilate, such as when attempting to recall the name of a person or changing the emotional reaction to a situation. Besides reports from the participants, the methods generated balances and checks that guaranteed data accuracy gathered from brain scans.

The findings showed that the prefrontal cortex worked effortlessly to control the emotional reactions occurring from the limbic system in the control group. The findings confirmed what other research indicated. The brain scans on the participants with ASD were different. “The prefrontal cortex did not come online to the same extent,” 99999 said. “It was as though the brain region needed to work hard to regulate emotional responses couldn’t activate to the same degree as it did in people without autism. This limited activation of the prefrontal cortex, not surprisingly, resulted in less modulation of the limbic regions.”

The study data indicated that participants committed themselves to meeting the research requirements. They transformed their emotional reactions to the picture. However, their brain scans found that people with ASD do not utilise the prefrontal cortex like people without autism. Therefore, when faced with emotional situations, those with ASD cannot control emotions to the level at which people without ASD can. Accordingly, this could result in the “associated symptoms,” including anxiety, irritability, and tantrums, which are pervasive.

Due to the inability to control emotions, autistic people can be considered to have few or do not have any emotions, which is nothing further from the truth. Those with autism could not be further than the truth. Those with ASD could be emotional for various reasons or demonstrate their emotions differently, although they just have as many feelings as anybody else. In some instances, people with autism can even be more emotional than neurotypical people or can have issues expressing their emotions and need help to express them.

Provided that the symptoms of autism are significantly misunderstood, most people with ASD find their way to diagnosis. Regarding people with ASD as unable to regulate their emotions is not downright misguided but also confirms that autistics are not going to establish their way to self-awareness and diagnosis. It is also dehumanizing and unethical.

The emotional deviations between autistic and non-autistic people can result in a significant conflict. When people uphold the maxim of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it fails autistic people without autism ones. Non-autistic people believe that autistic people are invalidating, thoughtless, unempathetic, and invalidating. People with ASD feel the same about normal people; although because non-autistic are the majority, then autistic people become victims of being pathologized. “Emotions are mostly complex to control, understand, and even interpret, even for individuals without ASD,” 9999 said. “Therefore, it is normal to have some challenges controlling the emotions they transmit to people who function differently from them.”

I walked up to my 9-year-old patient’s home door and knocked on

I walked up to my 9-year-old patient’s home door and knocked on the door. A kid’s shadow could be visible through the window curtains as she headed toward me. She unlocked the door opening it for me. Unexpectedly, she ran to his dad and buried her face in his stomach while hugging his waist. She would not even look at me. His father enthusiastically told her, “Stacey, say hi to Harry! He is here to play with you!”

Stacey quickly waved her hand but kept her face low and hidden. When I gathered data on her way of greeting others, I observed that I would have to note “incorrect.” She lacked eye contact when greeting me as any other individual is “expected” to do. However, she had autism, and autistic people usually have challenges meeting the eyes of the people they are interacting with. She would have to experience the discomfort of meeting my eyes every time other instructional professionals or I visited for in-home therapy sessions. It felt like it was very unfair to accord her a non-passing result on something she was not comfortable doing.

It is usually stressful for autistic people to make eye contact because they can experience increased anxiety. Autistic people can be more focused on the anxiety and stress triggered by eye contact rather than the conversation they engage in. In a report by 999999, one participant with autism described his problems with eye contact: “It does not come naturally to me, and I do not appreciate having to give it all the time, especially to people that I do not know. All the stress that is put on doing it makes me more nervous, tense, and scared. Doing it also assumes that I can read the message in another person’s eyes. Don’t count on it! I can look at a person’s eyes and not be able to tell what they are saying to me…”

Autistic people also stress about the discomfort they experience when making eye contact; hence why does society significantly pressure people with autism to keep eye contact? 99999 highlighted a significant example of what neurotypical individuals experience: when non-autistic people use the elevators, they usually face the door to avoid feeling the uneasiness of their space being occupied. Thus, if neurotypical individuals already find it uncomfortable to make eye contact, why is then a big concern when Stacey could not manage to make eye contact with me while she waved hello?

Some researchers believe that autistic people are not just as interested in pleasing or socialising with others.

When people see a face and socially engage with each other, regardless of whether they are close or strangers, they release feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin. It is transitory and subconscious most of the time, although it reinforces people to find and enjoy the face again. However, this is not usually the case for most people with ASD. Over the years, researchers have been trying to investigate children with ASD for their Theory of Mind skills, including reading facial expressions and looking at things from diverse perspectives. 9999 believes that autistic children are assumed to have developmental deficits that hinder them from reading others and their emotions. But autism is on a spectrum spanning from brilliantly intelligent and high-functioning to low-functioning non-verbal people, making the assumption so inconsistent.

Over the years, non-autistic researchers have worked desperately to understand why children experiencing autism do not usually like meeting other people’s eyes or considering the perspectives of other individuals.

People are social species who have evolved from profound connections with others and enjoy doing so. People’s eyes are focused on faces minutes after being born, which marks the beginning of the human face fascination. One wonderfully simple idea that has been proposed is the hypothesis that people with ASD do not have given abnormalities or issues with brain functions that support social interaction and emotional recognition; rather, they have not acquired these skills at a professional level compared to most typical individuals. Specifically, this is due to the inherent low interest in socialising with other people. Apparently, parents of children with ASD can explain how challenging it is for them to force their children to do things they do not want to do. Different from non-autistic children who seek acceptance, affection, and praise and are usually willing to carry out tasks that they hardly enjoy to gain them, children with ASD are usually more egocentric. Definitely, this does not imply that children with autism do not have emotions or feelings of love, but they are just not interested in pleasing other people.

In a research study published by 9999, the researchers claimed that people with ASD usually avoid meeting other people’s gazes because it most likely causes them anxiety, and it is not an intentional presentation of a lack of empathy or feelings. The argument does not only prove what most autistic researchers have been claiming for decades but also indicates that most neurotypical people have been adopting misguided beliefs about eye contact among people with ASD. Therefore, eye contact should not be encouraged among them as a therapeutic intervention.

99999 further claims that the brain section usually responsible for helping kids recognise familiar faces is usually oddly activated among autistic individuals, leading to increased anxiety because they get overstimulated. The researchers supported their findings, which indicated that encouraging autistic people to meet other people’s gaze during behavioural therapy sessions could result in negative results, such as high anxiety levels.

“However, by not looking at the eyes, the person with ASD will continue to miss critical social information, and somehow one has to help them to gather all these important cues,” 99999 suggested in the report. “One possible strategy could consist in progressively habituating individuals with ASD to look into the eyes, analogous to the way surgeons habituate to look at open bleeding bodies, and then in incentivizing them to look at the eyes, finding a way to make eye contact somehow less stressful.” The study results supported that most interventions for encouraging eye contact among autistic people lead to more damage than good.

If children are uncomfortable making eye contact during social interactions, therapy should include ways to alleviate the problem. But if meeting another person’s gaze is entirely insignificant to autistic children, their parents and therapists can help them understand why it is critical in typical social life. Non-verbal skills such as gesturing, eye contact, and pointing are considered to occur naturally in kids under a normal development process. However, for children presenting autistic symptoms, teaching them to meet other people’s gazes should not be an issue of major concern.

999999, claimed that teaching people with ASD to make eye contact is relative to teaching people something that they would hardly adapt to. “There’s no real evidence that improving eye contact leads to better friendships or real-world adjustment,” claimed 9999. Suppose eye contact makes non-autistic people more comfortable, then it is the responsibility of neurotypical people to learn to adapt to the unsocial characteristic of autistic individuals. Although these arguments are valid, teaching children to meet other people’s gazes is a helpful part of their life.

Historically, eye contact is considered one of human people’s most critical survival attributes. It helps infants with the ability to gain attention because they cannot express themselves verbally. Essentially, eye contact is not just about two people locking their eyes together, but rather it is about learning to make eye contact in an area where learning can occur. 99999 supported this argument saying, “simply, solid eye contact creates opportunities to be socially motivated and learn.” They further provided an example that, in order to learn math, one has to look at the chalkboard; therefore, all learning is usually socially mediated, especially early in early childhood. Accordingly, encouraging eye contact is important to help autistic children learn new information. “To bring it together, eye contact, reading faces, and appreciating social interaction are critical, fundamental building blocks for learning,” says 9999.

Most parents with autistic children have learned that eye contact is meaningful, and I have also encouraged that during therapy sessions. Jessica Williams, a mother to a 6-year-old autistic boy, has been using behavioural science to make eye contact as fun and play-based as possible to help the skill become natural to her son over time. “I teach him eye contact by holding his favourite food or toy around three inches from his face, right in front of his nose; when he shifts his gaze towards it, I make eye contact with him and enthusiastically applaud him and allow him to access the food or toy,” says Jessica. “It is usually a great approach to capture his motivation for his toy or food and use that to train him eye contact while connecting both things with social praise.”

So, is encouraging eye contact among children with autism helpful? The answer to this question is quite difficult as it depends on the subject individual. If a person with ASD can learn how to enhance their social skill, then it would be important for them to practice, although if one feels that it is too stressful to do it, then their comfort should be respected. Particularly if one responds and learns better when not making eye contact. Therefore, society should start learning when eye contact among people with ASD is effective and when it can cause more damage than benefit.

Blog 2: To what extent are we in control of our own emotions and what evidence is there that this is different in people on the autism spectrum?

The question of whether people can control their emotions has resulted in controversial debates over the years. Recently, I asked Samantha, my 14-year-old sister, if she believed that emotions, generally, can be controlled. She gave me a reluctant yes, prior to confirming that it was the most complex thing to do.

What if there was a way, I continued, that would enable people to regulate emotions easily? She’d be interested, she said, although I should not count on her using the approach most of the time. Besides the issues of befriending pre-adolescent passions, I observed something critical about her beliefs concerning emotions: that it is not only possible to regulate them but that emotions are not bad. At times for pleasure, this is used in playing along with the dynamic changes, even the most annoying feelings, such as frustration, and the sizzling ones, such as anger.

Although many studies in psychology explore the impact of emotions on a person’s well-being, most recent studies show that the beliefs people hold about emotions have significant effects on their psychological health. Consider the concept of taking charge of individual emotions. 999999 explored the hypothesis of whether emotions are controllable (modulated and shaped according to individual will) or they are uncontrollable (occur randomly and leave their harmony). As innocuous as they appear, people pay high costs for these beliefs: they are not only risk factors for depression but also outline the strategies used to control emotions on a daily basis.

According to a study by 9999 from the University of 999999, humans are all theorists of emotions, choosing for themselves what they believe about emotions. 999999’s research on emotion beliefs, the answer is apparent: “On average, it’s beneficial to believe that emotions are good, useful experiences, and not necessarily harmful, damaging experiences; it’s also beneficial to believe that emotions are controllable.” Although not firmly so, 999 warns, “If you think that emotions are completely controllable all the time, imagine how stressful that must be in moments where you aren’t able to reign in your emotions.”

In essence, the notion of whether emotions can be controlled depends on what a person means by “emotion” and “control.” Emotions are usually multifaceted experiences. People have internal subjective experiences, physiological reactions, and facial expressions. Some aspects are easier to take charge of than others. For instance, masking the external display of emotions could be easier in some situations than changing how one feels. However, this depends on the intensity of emotions, where intense emotions are more complex to regulate than less strong emotions. Ironically, it could not be meaningful not to attempt to regulate individual emotions. If a person just accepts their emotional experiences and allows them to manage their natural course, they can vanish more quickly. Accordingly, this is why emotional acceptance is a powerful approach to emotional control – it can help a person feel better, partially because they do not perpetuate their negative emotions. The goal is not to usually eradicate all emotions but rather to keep them at the right degree and in the appropriate context and recover quickly.

However, the ability to control emotions differs among people who have ASD. Anxiety, depression, irritability, tantrums, and self-injury are some symptoms of autism, although they are not believed to be core symptoms of the condition. 9999 adopted a functional MRI to indicate that – in the ability to control emotions, the brain activity in autistic individuals is exceptionally different than brain activity in individuals without ASD.

The outcomes, published in the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorder, a special issue about emotional control, argue that enhancing prefrontal cortex activity can directly assist people with ASD to control their emotions and advance severe symptoms related to the conditions, which affects most people. The outcomes suggest that emotion control symptoms have a significant biological narrative that can be visualised through functional MRI. However, the symptoms do not appear to be merely connected with or an outcome of key symptoms of autism, such as verbal and non-verbal communication issues, social interaction problems, repetitive behaviours, and other psychological problems.

999999, a professor of psychology and psychiatry, claimed that “this research adds to the growing awareness that although autism is diagnosed on the basis of social impairment and repetitive behaviours, the importance of emotion regulation and all the behaviours that come with it — depression, tantrums, meltdowns, irritability — are authentic and should be a focus of clinical services.”

Parents of children with ASD know that the symptoms of the condition can be pervasive. Autistic children often do not have the ability to manage complex emotional situations, which lead to tantrums and meltdowns.

The Institute of Developmental studies in 999999, under 9999, conducted a study involving 15 controls and 15 other young adults aged between 18 and 30 years with ASD. Since it is well believed that people with autism have issues controlling their emotions, the researchers spent 40 minutes with every respondent to train them to change their perception of emotional regulation before participating in an MRI scanner. While conducting the study during the fMRI scanning, all participants were presented with a line of pictures with human faces without expressions. During viewing each picture, the participants were required to provide positive opinions regarding the picture, give negative responses, or leave their emotional reactions rigid. The researchers also adopted eye-monitoring approaches to ensure that the respondents viewed the pictures continuously and to assess at high resolution the size of the pupils of each participant. It recognised that when people apply cognitive efforts, their pupils dilate, such as when attempting to recall the name of a person or changing the emotional reaction to a situation. Besides reports from the participants, the methods generated balances and checks that guaranteed data accuracy gathered from brain scans.

The findings showed that the prefrontal cortex worked effortlessly to control the emotional reactions occurring from the limbic system in the control group. The findings confirmed what other research indicated. The brain scans on the participants with ASD were different. “The prefrontal cortex did not come online to the same extent,” 99999 said. “It was as though the brain region needed to work hard to regulate emotional responses couldn’t activate to the same degree as it did in people without autism. This limited activation of the prefrontal cortex, not surprisingly, resulted in less modulation of the limbic regions.”

The study data indicated that participants committed themselves to meeting the research requirements. They transformed their emotional reactions to the picture. However, their brain scans found that people with ASD do not utilise the prefrontal cortex like people without autism. Therefore, when faced with emotional situations, those with ASD cannot control emotions to the level at which people without ASD can. Accordingly, this could result in the “associated symptoms,” including anxiety, irritability, and tantrums, which are pervasive.

Due to the inability to control emotions, autistic people can be considered to have few or do not have any emotions, which is nothing further from the truth. Those with autism could not be further than the truth. Those with ASD could be emotional for various reasons or demonstrate their emotions differently, although they just have as many feelings as anybody else. In some instances, people with autism can even be more emotional than neurotypical people or can have issues expressing their emotions and need help to express them.

Provided that the symptoms of autism are significantly misunderstood, most people with ASD find their way to diagnosis. Regarding people with ASD as unable to regulate their emotions is not downright misguided but also confirms that autistics are not going to establish their way to self-awareness and diagnosis. It is also dehumanizing and unethical.

The emotional deviations between autistic and non-autistic people can result in a significant conflict. When people uphold the maxim of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it fails autistic people without autism ones. Non-autistic people believe that autistic people are invalidating, thoughtless, unempathetic, and invalidating. People with ASD feel the same about normal people; although because non-autistic are the majority, then autistic people become victims of being pathologized. “Emotions are mostly complex to control, understand, and even interpret, even for individuals without ASD,” 9999 said. “Therefore, it is normal to have some challenges controlling the emotions they transmit to people who function differently from them.”

1 5 Smartphone Accelerometers Authentication systems on Digital Treadmills Name (your student

1

5

Smartphone Accelerometers Authentication systems on Digital Treadmills

Name (your student number)

University

Course Number and Name

Instructor Name

Due Date

Smartphone Accelerometers Authentication systems on Digital Treadmills

The use of smartphones in our daily activities has played a significant role in their rise in gait -authentication systems. In this paper, the imitation of digital treadmills with the help of smartphone sensors will aid in determining the gait behaviour of individuals. The experiment will assess the false acceptance rate (FAR) percentage for the random forest, the top-performing classifier in the studies, utilizing only two imitators and a basic digital treadmill with speed control capability. Only a few researchers have previously studied the feasibility of gait pattern imitation and thus provide a great topic to examine. The mimics were tested to construct a victim’s walking pattern by physically observing them and more so failed to replicate the trained pattern. According to Mjaaland et al., (2011) the experiments demonstrated it is not possible for a large number of trained imitators to produce individual walking behaviour as a result of surpassing their physiological limits. The experiment will provide a designed attack reference report on gait based authentication systems on the performance data of participants involved.

Main Objectives of the experiment

The experiment will contribute to determining the following aims

Increasing the attack increases the average false acceptance rate (FAR) by use of simple digital treadmills velocity control operability.

Selecting best average false acceptance (FAR) and FRR are the best selected performing classifiers through a designed referenced gait based authentication system (GBAS).

To assess GBAS’s susceptibility to execution attacks in terms of application and classification.

Methodology

For smartphones, an Android application was developed that employed an accelerometer sensor that could detect walking rhythms. The information was collected with the approval of the university from several individuals who were either lecturers, personnel, or undergraduates. The data was gathered over the course of several days during two separate time periods: session 1 (training) and session 2 (experimenting). Participants started walking and forth in a 100 meter, two-metre-wide passage. The iPhone X Max was used throughout the trial to eliminate any inconsistency that would arise. The sensor type linear acceleration was used in the sensor’s own frame of the baseline. Smoothing was used to remove noise from each element divided by a data set of units.

Both authentic and impostor samples were utilized in GBAS to train the classifiers. Moreover, to compute the outcome measures, namely FAR and FRR, from these values, it was generated user-specific thresholds using Ke Chen’s 30-method (2003). The training data set was used to train the classifiers that would later be used to develop the model, while the testing set was used to determine the authentic and imposter values.

Testing Framework

This was an example of four changeable gait parameters that were controlled and adaptable on the digital treadmill. First was the step length, the second was the step width, the third was the speed and the fourth was thigh lift.

Figure 1

Figure1 depicted a visual illustration of the imitator’s training method. The training mechanism received samples from a victim and outputs attack samples. The victim’s samples were used as input for the training mechanism, while the attack samples were used as output. The dominant characteristics were taken from the victim’s samples and were labelled as dominating features.

Results and Discussion

Without any response, the performance of the 3 attacks tests acquired after training mimics was evaluated. The basis FAR was shown in blue, while the FAR acquired from the three attack specimens is shown in cyan and respective colours.it was observed that part of the participants for instance user 1 and user 8 showed zero increase in FAR. It was indeed true since none of the two involved participants could replicate the imitators. The further report found that the physical traits of the mimics differed substantially from those of the users. Figure 2 depicted the rise in mean FAR reported across all three assault attempts on the categorization of 18 users.

Figure 2

Unexpectedly, the result of random forest, the best baseline GBAS performance, has degraded to the extreme. The employment of modern treadmills might significantly raise FAR levels. The variations in FRR were not taken into account because the results were unaltered during the attack experiment and the real samples were identical to the baseline GBAS.

Critical Analysis –Internal Attack Limitations and external threats

During the experiment, it was discovered that none of the two employed mimics could provide the needed accelerometer trace for a few victims, although attempted several attempts. The course of this reason was due to a combination of dominating characteristics scores of affected users were noted differently from the obtained the imitator specimens. The tests given in this study, while thorough, focused on an extensively researched authentication proposed system that employed frame-based segmentation. This research was additionally hampered by the amount of the database. Despite the fact that the information utilized in this investigation was acquired in a more realistic manner than in previous findings, the phone orientation and location were still limited. In a more realistic setting, the participant would be permitted to position and position the phone as they want. In the future, it would be fascinating to investigate the efficiency of the attack in that situation. Furthermore, we would like to point out that the data collecting procedure for such studies was a superfluous exercise for both the researchers and the participants.

Conclusion

As a result, it was found that one Imitator may not be able to imitate all types of victims using our training process. If the victim’s physical attributes were known and mimic with identical physical attributes were used, the chance of effective and correct imitation was higher. The study experiment resulted in the development of a response-based approach for training mimics on a digital treadmill in an attack for accelerometer-based GBAS, which was fully tested. The attacks limit the performance of GBAS, and it was discovered that authentication systems depended solely on accelerometer data, which was subject to imitation attacks.

References

M. Derawi, P. Bours, and K. Holien, “Improved cycle detection for accelerometer-based gait authentication,” in llH-MSp, 2010 Sixth International Conference on, pp. 312-317, Oct 20l0.

J. Kwapisz, G. Weiss, and S. Moore, “Cell phone-based biometric identification,” in BTAS 2010, pp. 1-7, Sept20lO.

A. Primo, V. Phoha, R. Kumar, and A. Serwadda, “Context-aware active authentication using smartphone accelerometer measurements,” in CVPRW 2014, June 2014.

D. Gafurov, E. Snekkenes, and P. Bours, “Gait authentication and identification using wearable accelerometer sensor,” in Automatic Identification Advanced Technologies, 2007 IEEEWorkshop on, pp. 220-225, June 2007.

D. Gafurov, E. Snekkenes, and P. Bours, “Spoof attacks on gait authentication system,” lEEE-TlFS, pp. 491-502, Sept 2007.

Motion sensors.” http: / / developer. android. com/guide/topics/sensors/sensors_motion. html. Last accessed in 29 March, 2015

L. Ballard, D. Lopresti, and F. Monrose, “Evaluating the security of handwriting biometrics,” in ln The 10 the International Workshop on the Foundations of Handwriting Recognition, pp. 461-466, 2006.

A. Serwadda and V. V. Phoha, “When kids’ toys breach mobile phone security,” in Proceedings of the 2 B. Mjaaland, P. Bours, and D. Gligoroski, “Walk the walk: Attacking gait biometrics by imitation,” in Information Security, vol. 6531 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 361-380, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 201l. 013 ACM SIGSAC, CCS ‘ 13, pp. 599-6lO, ACM, 2013.

S. Chernbumroong, A. Atkins, and H. Yu, “Activity classification using a single wrist-worn accelerometer,” in SKIMA 2011, pp. 1-6, Sept 2011.