A dermatoglyphic study of autistic patients

  • Harry A. Walker


Dermatoglyphic patterns of autistic children were compared to those of control subjects matched socioeconomically and by age and sex. Analysis of dermal ridge patterns and ridge counts resulted in significant differences between the 78 autistic and 78 normal children. Differences from normal expectation in the autistic children were most apparent in the reduced number of whorls and increased number of arches, in lowered ridge counts, and in less distinctness in formation of ridge line. The number of dermal ridges on autistic hands was much lower for each finger as well as for the total hand. Moreover, covariance of the contribution of increased numbers of arches failed to alter the significance of findings of general reduction of ridge count in the autistic sample. Other abnormalities of ridge structure among the autistics were noted and described. Complete absence of transverse crease in this sample was combined with other dermatoglyphic evidence to argue for the separateness of autism from other pathological syndromes. It was concluded that evidence was sufficient to indicate the existence of congenital factors in the etiology of autism.


Covariance Normal Child Autistic Child General Reduction Normal Expectation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corp. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry A. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Children's Brain Research ClinicWashington, D.C.

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