Study Finds Autistic Children Have Wider Eyes and Distinct Facial Features

According to a report from MSNBC, a new study by the University of Missouri suggests that children with autism may have wider eyes and distinct facial features. 

By analyzing 3-D images of children with autism and comparing them with images of children without the disorder, researchers discovered some commonalities in facial features of children with autism.  The study, which looked at only boys, found that autistic children have:

  • a broader face with wider eyes
  • the middle region of their face is shorter (the cheeks and nose)
  • a wider mouth and philtrum (the groove between the nose and the top of the lips)

The lead author of the study, Kristina Aldridge, said, “Children with other disorders such as Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome have very distinct facial features. Autism is much less striking.  You can’t pick them out in a crowd of kids, but you can pick them out mathematically.”

This research may lead scientists to discovering how autism develops. 

For more on this study see:
Autistic children have distinct facial features, study suggests
Wider eyes and a broader mouth: Scientists identify subtle 'distinct facial characteristics' of children with autism