I find this fascinating. This woman is cooing to young infants. Infants who later received a diagnosis of autism looked at the woman’s mouth (red line) versus infants who were typically developing (blue line) who looked at the woman’s eyes.
“Baby boys who will later be diagnosed with autism show a loss of interest in other people’s eyes between 2 and 6 months of age, according to a study published today in Nature. This is the earliest behavioral marker of autism found to date.
The researchers found that the steeper the decline in eye fixation over the first two years of life, the greater the level of social and communication impairment at 2 years old.
“Now we know that it is possible to develop a quantitative assay in early infancy that is predictive of both autism and level of social disability,” says lead investigator Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
The study is the latest in a surge of research on the younger siblings of children with autism, dubbed “baby sibs” who have a one in five chance of developing the disorder.”
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