“Our multi-centre study in the US, London and Flinders Vision will provide a measure of retinal sensitivity to light that might inform our understanding of hypersensitivities to light that is prevalent in ASD,” says Dr Constable, whose son Miles was diagnosed with ASD at the age of three.
The retina may have a different sensitivity to light in autism because the retina and the brain develop together. Dr Constable’s research focuses on using clinical electrophysiology to measure retinal responses to light in individuals with ASD.
“We hope the findings will help in diagnosis of ASD and could be used to monitor any medications that may be acting on the brain. It should also help with our understanding of related neurological disorders and some of the underlying genetics.”
“We are all very passionate about improving the lives of those with ASD and we are very grateful for the gift from the Alan B. Slifka Foundation which will enable this important work to get under way,” says Dr Constable.
Dr Constable has been instrumental in establishing a sensory-friendly eye health service at Flinders Health2GO, offering free optometry service for children and adults on the autism spectrum (bulk billed by Medicare).