See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 25, Issue 1

New Therapies Take Early Aim at Autism

By spotting signs of this developmental disorder in young toddlers, parents and therapists may be able to target a child's deficits before they become debilitating

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Soon after Noah turned a year old, his parents, Leslie and Paul, noticed something was not quite right with their son. At 10 months Noah had learned to say “Mama” and “Dada,” but at 14 months he no longer uttered any discernible words. Music had a powerful and strange effect on Noah: when he heard it, he would stop what he was doing and “zone out,” according to Leslie.

Four months later Noah's parents brought up their concerns about their son with his pediatrician. The doctor recommended they wait until his second birthday to see if he would catch up with his peers. The advice did little to allay Leslie and Paul's worries.

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