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Neuro-Typical Development

From a very young age, neurotypical children learn social, cognitive, and communicative abilities from their primary caregivers by listening to speech and looking at faces. Recognizing, interpreting, and mimicking their caregiver’s facial expressions allows infants to identify socially important people and understand others’ internal mental states (Baron-Cohen et al., 1994). In fact, when a mother establishes eye contact and communicates with her child, she helps to activate specific neurological structures in her baby’s brain, which allow her child to develop essential social, cognitive, and communication skills. When these components in the brain develop slowly or activate atypically, the global effects on a child can be profound — such as those seen in autism spectrum disorder.

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