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Autism may be detectable as early as 2 weeks in children

For any parent in Ohio of a child born with autism knows how troubling disease can be. It impairs a child's social interaction skills and affects many areas of intellectual development involving language use.

A severe case can be profoundly disabling, leading to eligibility for federal disability programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Autism can affect a broad range of capabilities in a child and research is being done to develop treatments and therapy that can help these children. 

Most children are diagnosed with autism by the time they are age 2. By that age, the characteristic lack of development of their social skills and language ability becomes noticeable.

Depending on the severity of the autism and the income of the parent, a child may qualify for SSI. For those parents, the SSI payments can provide additional financial assistance with many thousands of dollars in extra expenses that a disabled child needs.

Recent research has found that some children who later develop autism may be identifiable as early as 2 months, by observing the differences in their eye movements.

Researchers used sophisticated eye-tracking technology and found that these children spent less time looking at others eyes than children who did not develop autism.

What may be the most significant finding was that children with autism appear to be born with the ability to track eye movement, but then that ability begins to deteriorate.

The researchers suggest that this recognition could lead to treatment or therapy that potentially could reduce some of the disabling impacts children with autism suffer.

Source: Disabilityscoop.com, "Autism Signs Spotted In First Months Of Life," Shaun Heasley, November 7, 2013

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