It may be possible to recognize signs of autism in children as young as 12 months old according to a new study by the Medical Institute of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at UC Davis.
The children involved in the study were given a metal lid, round plastic ring, rattle and plastic baby bottle to play with while researchers videotaped their actions.
Most of those later diagnosed with autism tended to spin and rotate the items and they stared and studied the items out of the corner of their eye - a tell-tale sign.
The study was significant because earlier screenings of children could then lead to earlier treatment. Other studies have found many children who have behavioral therapy for several years prior to elementary school are better able to function independently and integrate into regular classrooms.
Currently most formal diagnoses aren't made until age 3. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants be screened before age 2.