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Autismcan be spotted in babies as young as four months old simply by monitoring their response to games such as peek-a-boo or incy-wincy spider, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that babies who will go on to diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as toddlers show lower levels of brain activity when playing interactive social games, or watching people yawn or laugh.
Conversely their brains appear more stimulated by pictures of inanimate objects, such as cars.
Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox from Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, who led the study, said: “We have found an early indication of different patterns of brain activity in infants who go on to develop ASD.
“Given the importance of responding to others in our social world, it is possible that different attentional biases in babies may impact on the development of social brain responses, which can continue to affect the child’s developmental trajectory as they get older.
“Identifying early patterns of altered development which may later associate with ASD is important, because it will allow doctors to offer earlier interventions and provide families with earlier avenues for support.
“This might mean giving the child and parents new strategies to reengage their attention towards important social cues and learn different ways of interacting.”
ASD is a common developmental disorder thought to affect around 2.8 million people in Britain.
Read more at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/08/18/incy-wincy-spider-could-show-child-autistic/