Saturday, September 19, 2009

Clinic Notes: Early Detection of Autism Redux

Autism is usually diagnosed between the second and third year of life when language fails to develop. (This is also the time when children receive vaccinations for common childhood diseases hence the association between the mercury in the vaccines being the cause of autism, which is still being hotly debated.) As I mentioned in a previous blog some research finds that ABA started as early as 18 months can actually prevent autism. There are no reliable early biological or behavior markers of autism and everyone agrees that if we could diagnosis at an earlier age and start ABA and other treatments then autism could be more effectively treated. According to a recent study, signs of autism appear in the first few weeks of life. Researchers at Flinders University found differences in attention, cognitive, temperament, and sensory processing between children who later developed autism and children who developed normally. If this study is replicated then therapist may be starting ABA and other therapies at a very early age.

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