Simple changes in how parents interact with children may ease disorder
Changing how parents talk to, play with and feed babies in their first year of life may reduce the symptoms of autism, a small preliminary study suggests.
Although many children with autism aren’t diagnosed until age 4 or later, researchers are finding ways to detect the signs of the disorder in younger and younger children, even in the first few months of life (SN Online: 11/6/13). The trouble is that good treatments for infants don’t yet exist.
“We don’t just want to identify kids with autism and then make parents wait for a really long time to get intervention,” says psychologist Annette Estes of the University of Washington in Seattle. Though preliminary, the paper, to appear in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, is a step toward developing early, effective treatments, she says.