the sidelong look


The sidelong look.


This is sometimes to be seen in S.L.D. children. The sideways deviation of the eyes from the mid-position is quite extreme. How might we explain this rather odd behaviour? One possibility is to say something like "It's because he or she is 'autistic'". This silly non-explanation is in fact often used by care staff working with s.l.d. children, but is of no value whatsoever.
How else might we approach this question?
We might ask these questions:-
1.What could such a position of eyes and head possibly achieve?
2.Under what precise circumstances does the behaviour occur?

Observation and discussion

Case C. W. often showed this behaviour. On some of those occasions she appeared to be listening to something, possibly the sound source being outside the room. We might theorise that in this position the line of the ears points to the sound, and so the difference in the nature of the acoustic stimulus in the two ears is maximised. It would seem that the child's ability to localise sounds is impaired and that this behaviour is an attempt to overcome the problem.

This expression can look rather suspicious, shifty and 'creepy'. Why? Because the person adopting it is looking at something in a manner which might disguise the fact that he is looking at that thing
If this was the basis for Caroline's behaviour
a. why should she wish to disguise the fact she had seen something?
b. would she have possessed the intelligence to know that by looking in this way another person might not know she had seen something, requiring that she had seen other people do this, and remember that she had not been certain they had seen something and copy such behaviour? The answer is a definite "No!"