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Early identification of autism possible

Scientists of Canada have been able to successfully diagnose autism in infants below one years of age.//

In a process to systematically document early signs of autism in children researchers had been able to diagnose high-risk infants and confirmed the diagnosis in a follow up study, till about the age of 24 months. The study had involved development of computerized visual orienting task, standardized measures of temperament, cognitive and language development etc.

Autism disorder affects children and hampers their communicative skills, social interactive skills, and ability to develop any interest. Autism is said to stem from neuro-developmental abnormalities.

The results of the study showed that by 12 months of age, infants who were later diagnosed with autism may be different from the other infants in a number of respects. Some such signs may be avoiding eye contacts, visual tracking, disengagement of visual attention, lack of orienting to name, imitation, social smiling, reactivity, and social interest, and sensory-oriented behaviors; prolonged inability to disengage visual attention; early temperament with marked passivity and decreased activity level at 6 months, followed by extreme distress reactions; a tendency to fixate on particular objects in the environment; and decreased expression of positive affect by 12 months; delayed expression and reception of language.

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