By Jeremy Singer-Vine
from The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2008
With the number of autistic children growing, researchers are targeting new technologies to help detect the disorder at ever-younger ages in hopes of reversing some of autism’s worst symptoms. Most autistic children currently aren’t diagnosed until they are about 4 years old, using conventional detection methods of observing behavior. Although specialists are able to identify the condition starting at about 30 months, most parents don’t seek evaluations that early because they don’t notice anything unusual about their children, or don’t know what symptoms to look for. Now, scientists are using new techniques to study children as young as a few months old for signs of possible autism and to flag them for more extensive analysis.