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Autism Diagnosis at Birth?

bc_unpers_05_18.jpgResearchers from Yale University recently discovered biological markers which might indicate autism in babies - see the article from today’s headlines below.  This is a preliminary study and is not yet conclusive, but this research is very important in moving toward a medical diagnosis of autism and identifying and treating autism very early. 

rs_rogers.jpgIf you are interested in research that is going on right now for little ones (under 3 years), the MIND Institute has several exciting studies focusing on babies including looking at regression of symptoms, joint attention intervention, and looking at the importance of imitation in early development.  If you would like to enroll your child in any of these studies, click on the links for more information.

Here is the story:


Yale University Doctor Says It’s A Definite Warning Signal

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered what could be the earliest marker yet for autism — and in it’s in the placenta of children with the disease.

Their report, in the on-line issue of “Biological Psychiatry,” finds that certain changes in a placenta — changes caused by genetics — are likely to signal autism-like developmental problems in children.

Yale research scientist Dr. Harvey Kliman says, ”We found that children with autism were three to four times more likely to have this abnormal folding pattern than normal children.”

Kliman, who’s been studying placental problems for 20 years, says it’s not a one-to-one linkage. But it’s a definite warning signal.

According to Kliman, “It’s like the check engine light in your car … It’s basically saying something’s going on … Maybe you should have this checked a little more thoroughly.”

Kliman calls his research a preliminary finding from a small study. But it raises the possibility that autism could be diagnosed at birth, rather than at age 2, or older.

Kliman says, “It’s a marker that says hey, maybe you should stop, take a look at this child a little closer and try to figure out what’s going on.”

Kliman and his colleagues plan to do a larger, multi-center study of this possible placenta-autism link.

For more information, contact Dr. Kliman at harvey.kliman@yale.edu or visit Kliman’s Web site.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Early Detection of Autism

MCHATWhat are the early signs of autism?

If you have ever had concerns about a child’s development, you are not alone. Having occasional concerns is a natural part of parenting and care-giving. But when these concerns persist, it’s time to take the next step.

Whether you’re worried about a child’s language, how the child relates to the people in his life, how he plays with toys, or any other developmental concerns, young children rely on those who can help. Early detection of autism is critical to the future of young children who may be at risk for autism spectrum disorders. The M-CHAT questionnaire is a screening tool used to facilitate early detection of autism. Pediatricians and family doctors often use this questionnaire during a child’s 18 or 24-month developmental check-up.

The Checklist of Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) is a screening tool commonly used by pediatricians and family doctors during a child’s 18-month developmental check-up. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is a modified version of the screening questionnaire that can be used by parents and early childhood educators. These screening tools can be used to alert parents and health professionals for the potential need of a diagnostic evaluation performed by pediatric neurologists and psychologists trained in autism assessment measures.

We’ve put links to these tools on the teachtown web site at www.teachtown.com/mchat.

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