Interventions for autism are most successful if they begin between two and four years of age, but the average age at diagnosis is nearly six. The LENA Foundation has developed a screening system that can be used with children as young as two. The child wears a digital recorder all day long. After recording up to 16 hours of audio, parents mail the recorder back to the foundation, where software is used to comb through the child’s vocalizations in search of patterns that indicate a high risk of autism. Parents are advised to consult a specialist if such patterns are found. The foundation says the tool can detect autism in children with the disorder in 91 cases out of 100.
Credit: Joshua Scott
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