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Posts Tagged ‘how to diagnose autism’

The Los Angeles Times (9/2, Roan, http://tinyurl.com/face-gaze) reported  that with autism rates soaring over the last decade, researchers are seeking the earliest clues of the disorder.  The quicker a child is diagnosed, the better the long-term outcome.  In the September issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, leading autism researchers say they think infant gaze is among the first clues of social functioning.   Infants who don’t exhibit this fondness for human faces, may be exhibiting one of the first signs of autism, the inability to socialize .  The researchers, from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore and the University of Delaware, observed 25 6-month-old infants who were siblings of children with autism.  They were compared with 25 infants from families with no history of autism.   They found that the infants in the low-risk group were more likely to have normal social gazing.  The high-risk siblings, however, spent less time looking at their caregivers and more time focused on the toy. The study provides more evidence for early diagnosis, the lead author of the study, Rebecca Landa, said in a news release.   The lack of interest in people’s faces is “a subtle difference that could be easily overlooked by both parents and some professionals.”

 

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