Autism Superior Visual Ability found to be indicator of condition in children

Research found that infants who more quickly perceived a mismatched symbol on a screen when they were 9 months old were more likely to receive an autism diagnosis by age 2.

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Children with exceptional visual perception should be monitored as a new study suggests it could be an indicator could that a child will be diagnosed with the developmental disability.

Research found that infants who more quickly perceived a mismatched symbol on a screen when they were 9 months old were more likely to receive an autism diagnosis by age 2.

Study lead author Teodora Gliga of Birkbeck Babylab at the University of London, "although atypical perception, such as better visual search and hypersensitivity to sounds, are common in autism, they were rarely considered as a core feature in early development"

Gliga also considered the find significant "since it strongly suggests atypical perception may be a driving force of later poor social interaction and communication symptoms."

The study authors noted that focusing on above-average perceptual skills is a new direction to research as previous research had focused on difficulties children have with social interactions, behavior and communication.

Another study co-author, Rachael Bedford, said findings might also help clinicians eventually make diagnoses earlier since most children cannot receive a full clinical assessment until they are 2 or 3 years old.

This is the first time an enhanced early ability relates to early autism symptoms, and while there is no cure, early identification and services can improve a child's development.

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