New More Effective Tool in Detecting Autism in Children from University of Waterloo

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A newly discovered method for spotting autism in children has been released by the team of researchers from the University of Waterloo. Details below.

The technique started from the difference in the perception of human figures amongst children with autism disorder. Based on these facts was invented a children-friendly screening instrument.

What we have developed is a technique to pick up this known difference – said Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics, pharmacy and biology at UW.

The tool only requires children to look upon some pictures for a short time, proving to be a helpful technique for early diagnose.

The previous ways used to determine autism was a questionnaire and a psychological evaluation, but the entire process could be a tiresome burden for a four-year-old and a challenge for the parent to keep him still. By just showing a series of images is more interactive for children with attention deficits.

How the test is carried  out on impatient children??

The study involved 17 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and 23 neurotypical children.

The method considered ‘fun’ shows 44 photographs on a screen while the participants are connected to an eye-tracking system. The results display the eye movement, the time spent to analyze the faces, and what features caught their attention firstly.

This type of testing is not just less ‘painful’ but mixed with other examine methods can give a hand to doctors in setting the correct diagnosis.

The situation in Ontario is not ‘pink,’ as the concerned parents have to wait years for receiving a proper diagnose for their children and another extended period until treatment is given in this direction. This screening method can ease the situation for everybody.

With this tool also the children with significant chances of developing the disorder are detected earlier.

The study author, Sadria and Layton along with Soroush Karimi, a physics graduate student at Shahid Beheshti University, said that despite the apparent success further tests need to be done.


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