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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – New research by a team of researchers from Women & Infants and Brown University has examined the cries of six-month-old infants to determine the risk and potential early diagnosis for autism.
The team, led by Stephen J. Sheinkopf, published their results in Autism Research recently.
The study examined ways in which infants at risk for autism produced cries as compared to the cries of low-risk infants. Recordings of babies’ cries were excerpted from vocal and video recordings of six-month-old infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder and those with low risk. Infants were considered to be at risk if they had an older sibling with a confirmed diagnosis.
“Because we can measure various aspects of babies’ cries from the earliest days of life, it may be possible to use this technique to identify risk for neurological problems such as autism long before we can detect behavioral differences,” said Sheinkopf, psychologist at the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk, and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.