Eye Scanner May Detect Autism in Young Children

One in fifty-nine children is diagnosed with autism, and it is nearly impossible to diagnose children under two years old. Symptoms of autism may surface as early as 12 months. However, the condition cannot be detected until at least 24 months. Now, thanks to a new eye scan, autism may be detected in younger children.

Eye Scanner

Dr. Paul Constable, a senior lecturer at the college of nursing and Health Sciences Flinders University, has been searching for an autism biomarker since 2006. He has been trying to find a way to advance early diagnosis and help children with autism receive earlier intervention. Dr. Constable and his research team discovered a non-invasive eye scan that consists of a handheld device that can identify a pattern of subtle electrical signals in the retina. These electrical signals are specific in children with autism. The pattern corresponds to the difference in their brain development.

The eye scan was tested on 180 individuals between the ages of 5 and 21. Some individuals had an autism diagnosis, and some did not. They found the eye scanner was accurate in detecting the electrical signal pattern in individuals with a diagnosis as opposed to those without. The test is a quick, non-intrusive scan with a handheld device.

Early Intervention

The discovery of this biomarker may make it possible to diagnose autism as early as infancy. This early diagnosis means that children with autism can grow up with interventions to help them succeed. It also means that families will have an opportunity to educate themselves on the condition and be able to support their children appropriately as they grow older. Early intervention for children with autism is essential for successful outcomes. In addition, the identification of this biomarker for autism could allow for early diagnosis of other developmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This would allow those individuals to receive the necessary early intervention as well.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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