We found out that Ricky had problems at the age of 18 months. He was not formally diagnosed till he was over 24 months and then we were waitlisted for another year for assistance and school placement. If these tests truly can detect autism so early and are accepted as the norm I believe a lot of children and parents will benefit from early intervention.
Babies as young as six months could be screened for signs of autism, scientists have claimed. Early diagnosis and treatment could reduce symptoms in later life or stop the condition developing altogether, according to American research. But many children are not tested for the condition until at least the age of three.
The effects of autism can range from a mild need for routine to severe language and social interaction problems. Dr Amy Wetherby, from Florida State University, has identified 13 "red flag" behaviours to look out for in children aged 18-24 months, including a lack of response to their name and an inability to look at people. In a study of 5,385 children, she found similar tests can be used to diagnose children at nine months of age, she told New Scientist magazine.
Another study, led by Dr Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, of Alberta University in Canada, found that one early indicator of autism, rapid head growth, can be diagnosed in children as young as six to 12 months. (Telegraph)