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Joe90
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02 Apr 2016, 12:36 pm

I am not the sort of Aspie to correlate everything with AS or Autism or other neurological conditions but hear me out on this one.

I know a 17-year-old girl who has Fragile-X and learning disabilitiy, and she goes to a special school. And she said to me that there are 34 pupils in the school, and 32 of them wear glasses (excluding her and one other girl). She says there are all sorts of neurotypes in her class, including autistic, but is it a coincidence that more children or adults with non-NT conditions require glasses than the average NT?

I went to mainstream school, and out of 30 children in each class, only about a quarter, or less, wore glasses in each class. Is it that maybe a lot of NT people who require glasses wear contacts?

(Keeping in mind that I am talking about people under the age of 40, as it is very common for people to need glasses when they get older).


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kraftiekortie
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02 Apr 2016, 12:52 pm

It's quite common for people with various conditions, directly or indirectly of a neurological nature, to need glasses.

Probably most neurotypicals need glasses, too. But probably less of a percentage of them than neurodiverse people.



TheSilentOne
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02 Apr 2016, 2:19 pm

I have glasses and have since I was five. I tried contacts once when I was about sixteen, but I hated the feeling of touching my eye, so I never, ever wear them.


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Yigeren
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02 Apr 2016, 2:44 pm

There is a correlation between nearsightedness and spending a lot of time doing close-work during childhood, and not enough time outdoors. Why do you think so many nerds wear glasses? I'm sure that is probably one explanation for what you have observed.

The eyes do not develop properly for several reasons. One is the lack of sunlight. There have been a few studies that have demonstrated that sunlight does have an effect on the way the eyes develop.

Another is the amount of time the eyes must focus on one particular distance. When the eyes focus on mostly close things during the day, it's not getting the variety of focal distances that it needs to develop properly. It almost specializes in seeing up-close. So spending more time outdoors, children are focusing on things at many distances, including things quite far away.

So for these reasons, children in societies focused more on education have much higher incidence of nearsightedness.



Edenthiel
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02 Apr 2016, 2:52 pm

Deficient eyesight has been connected to about as many wide-ranging things as autism itself. Statistically there is no one clear corollary, including the various neural diversities. This could indicate several things ranging from it being fairly random but prone to false correlations to there being a multitude of groupings that in aggregate are a mosaic. That last one might indicate some connection not yet found, but it's also likely that the groupings are artificially caused by some other connections.


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Yigeren
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02 Apr 2016, 3:27 pm

Darn, I can't find my bookmarked articles on myopia. So I don't remember everything exactly. And I don't feel like doing the research again at the moment.

But I believe a few show how nearsightedness has gone up dramatically in China over just a generation or two. It's something like 80% of young Chinese are nearsighted. I believe the connection was made to the huge emphasis on national childhood education, which was not present in earlier generations. And also on videogames, and spending less time outdoors. There were several articles specifically dealing with the phenomenon in China.

That sunlight affects eye development has been demonstrated in a few studies.

It's also known that societies which are less "educated" and "developed" have far less incidence of myopia. One explanation could be natural selection. But considering that the incidence has gone up so quickly in some countries, it seems more likely that it's something environmental, as natural selection wouldn't account for such a drastic change in a single generation.

Then people who do a lot of close-work do tend to become nearsighted or have other eye problems.

I'm just guessing that in many cases, non-NT people are spending a lot of time doing things correlated with myopia.



Edenthiel
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02 Apr 2016, 3:31 pm

Could well be, Yigeren. Maybe b/c we don't tend toward outdoor group/team activities, nor gravitate toward (large) places where many people can fit (malls, meetings, etc), we spend more time focusing closely? Not to mention faces are typically located outside reading distance; perhaps always focusing on faces six feet away is enough to prevent nearsightedness?


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kraftiekortie
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02 Apr 2016, 3:45 pm

Alas, I had much contact with sunshine and physical activity. Video games were nonexistent until I was in my teen. Still, I developed nearsightedness.

I looked like Cousin Oliver of the Brady Bunch.



Yigeren
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02 Apr 2016, 3:56 pm

I think that's possible.

Plus I hear of so many autistic people being interested in things that really require a lot of reading, watching videos, computer screens, or playing videogames.

People here often love computers, anime, manga, intellectual pursuits which usually require research, and spending time alone. I know that I mostly played by myself as a young child, and spent enormous amounts of time reading and drawing. Even though I spent a lot of time outdoors in the summer, I think it wasn't enough.

NT people like those things too, but usually not to the point of obsession. And they do tend to want to socialize much more often and do other things outdoors. For whatever reason many autistic people don't like seem to like doing outdoor activities or sports, even solo ones.

NTs of course are nearsighted, too. Probably just not as large of a percentage as non-NTs. But that's only speculation.



Yigeren
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02 Apr 2016, 3:59 pm

Oh, I forgot: reading while wearing glasses for nearsightedness makes it much worse and shouldn't be done, apparently. And I did that a lot when I was young. My eyes got bad very quickly.



kraftiekortie
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02 Apr 2016, 4:03 pm

Videos, computer screens, video games,etc were nonexistent until my 20s.

I did read quite a bit, especially at night under dim light (to hide the fact of my reading from my mother when I was supposed to be in bed!).



Yigeren
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02 Apr 2016, 4:11 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Videos, computer screens, video games,etc were nonexistent until my 20s.

I did read quite a bit, especially at night under dim light (to hide the fact of my reading from my mother when I was supposed to be in bed!).


I'm thinking it could have something to do with the amount of time you spent reading. There is also a genetic predisposition in some people.



adoylelb90815
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02 Apr 2016, 4:12 pm

In my family, most people end up needing glasses, and we've all spent time in sunshine growing up. It wasn't until I was an adult that I needed glasses for driving and for seeing things in the distance. What got me to finally get glasses was when I was in college, and noticed I was having trouble seeing the board in class. The majority of my family is NT, and most of them also had to wear glasses as adults. For me, I can't drive legally without glasses because the only way I passed the vision test was with glasses on. Growing up, video game systems were just coming out, and were too expensive for most parents to buy, so we all played outside. The only computers that existed were the old Apple computers, and the internet didn't even exist yet, not even dial-up.

I do have a cousin who was a micropreemie when he was born 30 years ago, so he was lucky to have survived the NICU, but he has severe developmental delays as a result of his birth. He also has worn glasses his whole life, but that's due to his premature birth as his vision wasn't able to be fully developed. He's not considered legally blind, but he would be blind if he never wore glasses.