A quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

The Autism Research Review International is quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

Summer, 2023 | Number 3, Volume 37

High rate of vision problems seen in ASD

A new meta-analysis indicates that vision problems are common in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). 

John Perna and colleagues analyzed data from multiple studies involving more than 15,000 people with ASD. They found that individuals with ASD had an increased prevalence of strabismus (improper eye alignment) and accommodation (focusing) deficits. In addition, they were more likely to have reduced peripheral vision, reduced steroacuity (a measure of the ability of the eyes to work together), increased color discrimination difficulties, reduced contrast sensitivity, and increased retinal thickness. 

The researchers conclude, “ASD is associated with some self-reported and objectively measured functional vision problems and structural alterations of the eye, even though we observed several methodological limitations in the individual studies included in our meta-analyses. Further research should clarify the causal relationship, if any, between ASD and problems of vision during early life.”


“Association between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and vision problems: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” John Perna, Alessio Bellato, Preethi S. Ganapathy, Marco Solmi, Andrea Zampieri, Stephen V. Faraone, and Samuele Cortese, Molecular Psychiatry, July 26, 2023 (online). Address: Stephen Faraone, [email protected]