A study by researchers at the Yale Child Study Center shows that puppets can attract
and hold the visual attention of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at rates
which are similar to their typically developing peers. The findings suggest that puppets
could be a tool to develop more engaging therapies that strengthen social engagement
and facilitate learning for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The study, published in the Journal Autism Research in 2021, is the first to test
anecdotal evidence that children with ASD, like most young children, pay attention to
puppets. The researchers created the experiment in collaboration with Cheryl Henson,
the daughter of puppeteer Jim Henson and president of the Jim Henson Foundation.
Check out a video with more information about the study here.