What is it about?

This systematic review and meta-analysis found that while autistic individuals tended to produce certain types of gestures less frequently than neurotypical individuals across studies, they produced other types of gestures at comparable or higher frequencies than neurotypical individuals. The way gesture production was measured, age, observer familiarity, and task structure impacted the pattern of results.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Findings have implications for clinicians assessing gesture use in assessments for autism and highlight where further research is needed to better understand differences in gesture production in autism.


With the weighting in diagnosis given to gesture production, it's important for clinicians to remember that just because someone produces gestures during an assessment, it doesn't necessarily mean they're not autistic. Despite the prevailing belief that autistic individuals tend to use fewer gestures, there can be exceptions.

Nicola McKern
Macquarie University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Comparing gesture frequency between autistic and neurotypical individuals: A systematic review and meta-analysis., Psychological Bulletin, October 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/bul0000408.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page