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Gadget Detects Autism 3 Years Early

April 13, 2010

A new pocket-sized gadget could slash the time it takes to detect autism.

The device can pick up signs of the behavioural condition in young children up to three years earlier than current methods.

This extra time could be crucial because research shows that the earlier autism is detected, the better a child responds to treatments such as speech and language therapy.

The new system, the LENA Autism Screening Service, works by recording a whole day’s worth of a child’s speech.

It is then plugged into a special computer program that compares the child’s recording with that of other youngsters already known to have the condition.

Tests show the system is up to 90 per cent accurate in detecting autism in toddlers.

The device, which costs around £130, is available only in the U.S. but will hopefully be available in the UK in the near future.

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