Navigation Links
Autism Tough to Spot Before 6 Months of Age, Study Suggests
Date:10/30/2012

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The development of 6-month-old babies who are diagnosed with autism in toddlerhood is very similar to that of children without autism, a new study suggests.

"We always thought that if a child had autism, we would be able to tell during infancy . . . but we were wrong," said study author Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. "At 6 months of age, babies who end up with autism by age 3 are scoring similarly on tests to children who didn't have autism."

The study also sheds doubt on the notion that cases of autism that are spotted early are necessarily more severe. The researchers report that youngsters with early-identified autism (spotted at or before 14 months of age) did initially perform less well than a group whose autism was identified later. However, by the time children from both of these groups reached 3 years of age the gap narrowed so that they showed very similar levels of function.

The study is published Oct. 30 in the journal Child Development.

Affecting about one in 88 American children, conditions on the autism spectrum are developmental disorders that cause difficulties in social skills, language and communication. They can range from mild to severe, and are typically identified by the age of 3.

In the new study, researchers analyzed 235 children with and without an older sibling with autism (since genetics influence risk for the disorder), testing them six times between 6 months and 36 months of age.

Among the skills tested were fine motor skills, speaking skills, understanding of spoken language and how often the children shared emotions and initiated communications with others.

Children with autism typically developed noticeable symptoms either around their first birthday or later in toddlerhood but still prior to their third birthday. The study authors said that this is the largest longitudinal study to date that compares children with early/later diagnoses of autism against children without autism.

"Autism has historically not been recognized in infancy, under 12 months, and becomes more evident in the second or third year," explained Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park. "The piece [of the study] that's surprising is that the typical presumption is that kids who present earlier are likely to have a more severe form of autism -- but that's not what they found."

Landa, who has done extensive research on autism, said that "it's never too early" for pediatricians and parents to be alert to potential signs of autism in infants, which don't always center on language and social delays. For example, she said, some babies who go on to develop autism exhibit poor "postural control" at age 4 months and cannot control their neck muscles when pulled up to a sitting position.

"We really should be screening for general developmental delays at the first birthday," Landa said. "We shouldn't lock ourselves into screening for autism specifically . . . what we want to do now is help parents and pediatricians start looking for some of these more qualitative markers."

"We need to heighten parents' awareness of the fact that, when they start to see their child might not be showing steady gains in development, to have someone keep an eye out because there are so many wonderful things we can do while the brain is young and malleable," she added.

More information

There's more on diagnosing an autism spectrum disorder at Autism Speaks.

SOURCES: Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Oct. 30, 2012, Child Development


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. An Early Start for Your Child with Autism
2. IntegraGen launches ARISk test, a genetic screening tool for autism in high-risk children
3. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
4. Pregnancy Length May Influence Severity of Autism
5. Children Born to Obese Moms May Face Higher Autism Risk: Study
6. Online Tool Could Diagnose Autism Quickly, Developers Say
7. Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
8. In Mice, Drug Reverses Symptoms of Condition Linked to Autism
9. Study of half siblings provides genetic clues to autism
10. Genes Associated With Autism Also Related to Schizophrenia
11. Publication Bias Casts Doubt on Value of Antidepressants for Autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Autism Tough to Spot Before 6 Months of Age, Study Suggests
(Date:1/19/2017)... Seabrook, NH (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... develop its business plan and implement new sales and marketing strategies. Grover comes with ... spent the last 5 and a half years as Executive Vice President of Direct ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Delaware farmer Rick Dickerson attended the ... , Dickerson, of Laurel, farms about a thousand acres of soybeans, corn and wheat, ... contract and pumpkins and other vegetables for the fresh market. He also operates a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... and most-read publication among specialty pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, has teamed up ... Alliance Partnership (SAP) program, announced Brian Haug, president of Pharmacy Healthcare Communications, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Park Agencies Insurance & Financial Services, ... and business owners in the greater Kansas City area, is joining the Lakemary ... The Lakemary Center is a comprehensive educational resource center that provides area children ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The Hear ... aid project with the donation of cochlear implants. In February 2017, the first ... thus a fair chance of leading an independent life. This engagement builds on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, ... to treat a variety of dermatological diseases, announces ... DMT210, in a Phase 2 acne rosacea study. ... downregulate the proinflammatory cytokines in the skin responsible ... rosacea. This clinical trial, DMT210-003, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Safe Rx LLC and Good Day Pharmacy, ... Loveland, Colorado , today announced the availability ... Day locations.     "Patients with prescriptions prone ... storage," said Milton Cohen , President & CEO ... a cup of coffee, you can protect your children ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... In China , we say Health is ... China,s Healthy Strategy originates. 2016 is ... and Social Development of the People,s Republic of ... council of the People,s Republic of China ... plan, identifying medical devices as one of the main breakthrough ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: