Friday, August 20, 2010

Tech hopes to develop early warning tools, and treatments, for autism

Researchers at Georgia Tech hope to create an inexpensive, computerized early warning system for young children who have autism.

The socially-isolating affliction is frightening for parents, but it can be treated. And that treatment can be more effective with early intervention, project members said.

Children, on average, are not screened by an autism expert until age 4, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants be screened at 18 months of age.

"The problem is," said Gregory Abowd, a computer professor at Tech and one of the team leaders, "we don't have any way to effectively do that across the entire population."

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