Is This the Earliest Sign of Autism?
Autism might be detected in babies at young as six months old, according to a new study published in Current Biology. While autism is usually realized after baby’s first birthday, a new test may diagnose babies earlier, which will help get a head start on treatment. Researchers looked at 104 children who were six to 10 months old. Half of the babies were at risk for the disorder because their older siblings had autism. According to BBC News, the babies were shown pictures of people’s faces that were either looking at or away from the baby -- this is significant because children who have autism tend to lack eye contact. The researchers attached sensors to each of the babies’ scalps to detect brain activity. In babies that developed autism, they found that brain activity was not likely to change whether the people in the photo were looking toward them or away. In the babies who did not develop autism, they showed more differences in brain waves when looking at each type of picture.
Although the test was a good predictor of autism, the researchers said it’s not 100% accurate because some babies whose brainwaves did not signal autism ended up developing autism and vice versa. More needs to be done to make the test completely accurate, but this is a good step towards being able to treat autism earlier so those with the disorder can have a better outcome.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Baby Milestones: Is Your Baby on Track?
Side Effects of Vaccines
Baby Doctor Visits
See More: Baby Basics , Baby Doctor Visits
recently added questions