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Blink test

Kanji Iio, MD, MPH '64

Kanji IioThis is the story of a neurological screening test for the neurosensitivity of children.

One day, I brought the palm of my hand suddenly close to the face of a baby which is a routine test for visual sensation. It was my surprise that the baby blinked three times. I have considered whether this test—which uses a toy called “blow-out” could be used for the screening of any sort of neurological disorder in childhood.

I have examined many young children with pervasive developmental disorder by this test, and found many of them blinked three times. Thus, I am convinced that this “Blink test” can be used for the evaluation of the neurosensitivities of children. Autistic children are so sensitive to external stimuli that they withdraw. It is confirmed by pathology studies that the number of the Purkinje cells, which suppress the overreaction of this reflex, is decreased in the cerebellum.

When the toy “blow-out” was blown toward the middle of both eyes, children usually blink. Frequencies of blinking are counted as 0, 1, 2, 3 and more. In clinical experiments, I have found that the non-blinker correlates with having a strong tolerance to the external stimuli; the once-blinker may be an average child; the twice-blinker may be slightly to moderately sensitive; and the three- or more times blinker may be a very sensitive child who may show psychosomatic symptoms or difficulties in social life, because they are overly sensitive to sensations and personal relations.

This test is especially effective for the children 3 to 5 years of age, with the critical point being 4 years of age, confirmed by experiments elsewhere. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 usually show interest for this play-test. It’s interesting that autistic children may blink three times even in adolescence.

Parents' attitudes toward their children are very important for the emotional development of the young. The way of discipline must be selected according to the neurosensitivity of a child. If a strict parental attitude is assumed for the child who blinks three times, that child may withdraw or show psychosomatic disorder, such as stuttering, tic, frequent urinations, or school refusal.

Parental affection and acceptance are essential for children. When parents better understand the neurosensitivities of their children, childrearing may become much more constructive.In my country (Japan), juvenile delinquency is increasing. I suppose this may result, at least in part, from the misuse of child discipline. I am now letting young parents know about this test in order to help them with childrearing.

The origins of this test were found at Johns Hopkins; namely the importance of screening and the use of the toy.

Kanji Iio lives in Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan. He is currently writing a book that chronicles his 60 years as a pediatrician.


This forum is closed
  • Kanji iio

    Matsuyama, Japan 03/04/2012 09:33:44 PM

    Thank you for the employment of my report. In addition, o-blinker and 3-blinker are found in about 10% respectively in 3-5 years children which may show extroverted and introverted character in population.

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