Objective Measurement of Social Gaze and Smile Behaviors in Children with Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder During Administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition

Best practice for the assessment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptom severity relies on clinician ratings of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2), but the association of these ratings with objective measures of children’s social gaze and smiling is unknown. Sixty-six preschool-age children (49 boys, M = 39.97 months, SD = 10.58) with suspected ASD (61 confirmed ASD) were administered the ADOS-2 and provided social affect calibrated severity scores (SA CSS). Children’s social gaze and smiling during the ADOS-2, captured with a camera contained in eyeglasses worn by the examiner and parent, were obtained via a computer vision processing pipeline. Children who gazed more at their parents (p = .04) and whose gaze at their parents involved more smiling (p = .02) received lower social affect severity scores, indicating fewer social affect symptoms, adjusted R2 = .15, p = .003.

Keywords: Autism diagnostic observation schedule; Autism spectrum disorder; Objective measurement; Smiling; Social gaze.



Ahn YA, Moffitt JM, Tao Y, Custode S, Parlade M, Beaumont A, Cardona S, Hale M, Durocher J, Alessandri M, Shyu ML, Perry LK, Messinger DS