If you’ve got a baby on the way, Marcus Autism Center researchers want your help to expand their study on autism that made national headlines this week.
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The study results indicate signs of autism can be detected in children as young as six months which is much earlier than the typical age of diagnosis.
Dr. Warren Jones, the Marcus Autism Center’s Director of Research, says the study used advanced eye-tracking technology to follow infants’ eye movements as they watched videos of social interaction: videos that looked like moms playing with babies.
“Infants who are later diagnosed with autism were actually looking at the eyes at levels that were in the typical range early in life,” said Jones. “But the key difference that the amount of time they were looking at the eyes was already starting to decline whereas in typically developing infants, it was on the increase.”
Dr. Jones says researchers want to enroll as many infants as possible in the stud to ensure enough babies to form a control group. But they are especially interested in babies who have a sibling already diagnosed with autism.
You can find more information and enroll your infant at the Marcus Center website.