Autism researchers look forward to days of earlier detection - CBS46 News

Autism researchers look forward to days of earlier detection

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

While the mystery of what causes autism still remains largely unsolved, experts at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta say they are working on research that could help drastically improve the stage at which children can be diagnosed.

"We can, with good certainty, diagnose by the age of 2," said Dr. Celine Saulnier with the Marcus Autism Center.

She said, in some rare cases, children can even be diagnosed at the age of 1. Saulnier and other researchers at the Marcus Center are trying to develop research that could help any pediatrician, in any doctor's office, screen children for symptoms of autism at just 12 months.

"I would hope that by the one-year checkup, every child be screened for autism," said Saulnier. "We're not saying we can diagnose the children this early, but we can absolutely screen for risk."

Saulnier said she would rather air on the side of caution when diagnosing a child.

"We'd rather air on the side of giving a diagnosis to a child who doesn't have one, than missing a diagnosis for a child who does have one," she said.

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