Can Autism be Diagnosed in Infancy?

If you had the ability to test your child for autism anywhere from 2-6 months would you do it. The test is not a 100% guarantee but it gives the possibility of yes or no. Typically autism is diagnosed at about 4 years old so eventually the new research would allow parents to start treatment/therapy at a younger age if autism is diagnosed early.

Autism is a spectrum of closely related neurodevelopmental disorders that share symptoms and disability in the same core area. The signposts of autism are disturbances in social relations, communication, and behavior. In particular, the conduct of autistic individuals is influenced by preoccupation, an adherence to rituals, and motor mannerisms. For instance, typical behavior of a child with autism includes rocking back and forth, headbanging, and obsessively lining up toys. The most common and possibly most painful signal of autism is when a child makes little or no eye contact, even with a parent when in a new and frightening situation. Babies explore the world by looking at objects, bodies, faces, and especially by peering into their parents’ and other people’s eyes. This natural aspect of infant activity, scientists believe, spurs brain growth and maturation.

Using advanced eye-tracking technology researchers followed babies from 2 months to 3 years. Babies later diagnosed with autism had a declining attention to other people’s eyes beginning at 2 months. More research needs to be conducted to develop this new testing method. Parent CANNOT do this at home nor should they worry if their baby is not always looking at their eyes. Babies are naturally curious and will look around their environment.

This developing autism research is very interesting.