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Earlier autism treatment could prevent developmental delays, study shows




Most children with autism spectrum disorder are diagnosed at two or three years old, but even earlier treatment can prevent developmental delays.
Most children with autism spectrum disorder are diagnosed at two or three years old, but even earlier treatment can prevent developmental delays.
Drew Perine/AP

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In most cases, autism spectrum disorder isn't diagnosed in a child until they are three or four years old.

But new research from UC Davis shows that treating preliminary signs of autism at an earlier age might help infants avoid developmental delays. 

The pilot study of seven children involved treatment known as Infant Start, according to UC Davis.

Treatment was administered over a six-month period to 6- to 15-month-old infants who exhibited marked autism symptoms, such as decreased eye contact, social interest or engagement, repetitive movement patterns and a lack of intentional communication. It was delivered by the people who were most in tune with and spent the most time with the babies: their parents.

Dr. Sally Rogers of the Mind Institute at UC Davis is a professor of psychology and headed up the study. She shares more on these findings. 



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