New research has found that regular games played with babies can be helpful in diagnosing a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
According to the Daily Mail, infants with lower brain activity during social games, such as itsy bitsy spider and peek-a-boo, can indicate the child will develop autism. Four different universities in London recently got together to conduct a study to expand the British Autism Study for Infant Siblings further. It is the first study of its kind to showcase that autism can be detected as early as four months old.
Playing peek-a-boo with babies could reveal early signs of autism, Dr. Jessica Brian, psychologist, clinician investigator and co-lead of Holland Blooview's autism research centre, joins Matt Gurney to discuss @am640 https://t.co/UMf1MkRvgm— Holland Bloorview (@HBKidsHospital) August 22, 2018
Dr. Sarah Lloyd-Fox was one of the lead researchers in the study that is now changing how doctors diagnose the condition. She explained that the research has proven a baby's responses to games, as well as videos of people, laughing, crying, hugging and yawning are directly linked to ASD diagnosis later in life.
The reason this is important is that now doctors can have an earlier indication of a child having autism and can prepare treatment that may help with brain development. New strategies and avenues can be given to families that can perhaps re-engage the baby or offer another road for the family to help their little one focus on social cues. It doesn't necessarily mean the child will never develop ASD, but the early warning signs can be beneficial in treating it and determining how severe the ASD will be in the child.
Scientists also discovered that babies with lower brain activity when it came to social stimulation like games were more responsive when they were shown non-social images such as cars. It is another sign of early detection of autism and again can allow doctors to find ways of re-engaging the baby to social stimulation.
However, these new findings to do not automatically mean a baby who does not respond to playing itsy bitsy spider has or will develop autism. It is merely another sign for parents and doctors to monitor. After all, every baby is different and some simply may not like those silly games, just because adults find them cute doesn't mean all babies do. As always if you think your child might have a developmental issue be sure to consult with your doctor.