Could Autism Symptoms in Babies Be Reversed? A Small Study Offers Hope

Following the recent news that scientists found some important neurological differences in the brains of children with autism, comes more hopeful news.

As part of a very small research study, seven babies (ages 6 to 9 months) who were identified as having early signs of autism were offered therapy—and the findings were shocking: By age 3, five of the seven children didn't show any symptoms of autism, and a sixth showed only mild ones, USA Today reports.

The research was run by the University of California Davis' MIND Institute and involved a modified type of treatment that is already offered to older children diagnosed with autism that includes intensive sessions with therapists and family members designed to teach parents how to pick up on their children's subtle social cues during daily activities.

"It doesn't prove that these children recovered from autism," Rogers told USA Today, because they were not technically old enough to be diagnosed with autism. But "it's a promise of a potential treatment for young children who have these symptoms."

Study co-author Sally Rogers and her colleagues are now working to secure funding to run a larger study.

If your child has been diagnosed with autism, learn more about the different treatment and therapy options that are available to  you and your family.

A simple test developed by the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore may be able to help determine whether a child will develop autism and other forms of developmental delays. The pull-to-sit test, done in infants as young as six months old, monitors whether or not a child has head lag, or trouble controlling his neck and head. While the test is not a diagnosis, children with head lag have a higher risk of autism or other social or communication delays.

Photo of baby courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

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