As you may or may not know, April is recognized by the Autism Society as National Autism Awareness month. CSDD aims to always lead the way for individuals with developmental disabilities, whether it be through transitional services, supportive employment, or general advancement. In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, we’d like to share a little information on recent research found back in February that could mean a lot to any new parent of an infant.
Recent research shows it may be possible to assess an individual’s risk for developing autism before they display behavioral symptoms. The new study goes further, and suggests predicting whether or not a child will develop autism within the first year of their life could now be possible. The study claims to have identified which baby’s would eventually be diagnosed with ASD by the time they’re two-years-old, with more than a 90 percent rate of accuracy.
The results, published this past February, could change the landscape in context to early diagnosis and intervention of autism. While the medical community has long viewed autism as emerging in a slow, subtle and gradual context over the course of an individual’s first couple years of life, this study offers the first possibility that some higher-risk children could be identified during the first year of life.
In the study, 106 infants who were identified as “high risk” for autism premised on having an older sibling diagnosed with a developmental disorder as well as 42 other “low-risk” infants. Each went through MRI scans at the ages of six, twelve and 24-months. In those who went on to develop autism, brain surface area growth was considerably increased between the ages of six and twelve, and the overall size of the impacted children’s brains grew at a faster rate between the ages of twelve and 24-months.
In the high-risk pool, just the differences in the brain between ages six and twelve were able to predict if the child would develop autism with a rate of 80 percent accuracy. Other factors were considered, including additional brain measurements and sex to assess statistical analysis to so accurately predict which children would go on to develop autism.
Continuing to Move Forward
While most children aren’t categorized as being autistic until after they turn four-years-old, they can still be reliably diagnosed as early as 2. This new research could be integral in advancing treatment as research shows treatment and/or intervention is increasingly successful the earlier it’s initiated, and medical professionals are always looking to identify avenues for earlier, but reliable diagnosis. While biomarkers to identify at-risk children have yet to be identified, the study provides hope that they exist while possibly expediting the diagnosis time to cultivate earlier and more effective intervention.
Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled is proud of the community we serve. From assisting with vocational training for developmentally disabled in WNY, to providing a myriad of other services for the developmentally disabled, give us a call if you’re looking for assistance, or support in any kind to help you and/or your loves ones live the fulfilling lives you deserve. If you or someone you know is looking for supportive employment or jobs for someone with a developmental disability, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.