A new study published in the journal Neuron have found a test that can reliably predict autism, even in young infants.
The new research demonstrates that even in sleep — and at an age when even some normally developing babies also lack words — a baby’s brain response to spoken language can reveal whether that child is likely to develop speech, comprehension and social skills or whether his social and expressive disabilities are likely to remain profound.
The new research also sheds new light on autism itself, suggesting it is not just a “spectrum disorder,” but probably more than one disorder — with more than one cause and very likely more than one approach to effective treatment.
“We discovered the reason why some babies get better and some don’t,” said neuroscientists Eric Courchesne, director of UC San Diego’s Autism Center of Excellence. “That difference is present already at the very beginning, and that suggests there are two very different forms of autism, and that there may be different causes.”