Recent prospective studies of infants at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have provided insights into very early development in autism and allowed clinicians to develop new screening tools for identifying infants at risk for ASD. At the same time that early screening tools are being developed, novel approaches to early intervention are being tested with infants at risk for ASD as young as 12 months of age. The hope is that, by intervening very early in life, the course of early brain and behavioral development can be modified and the core symptoms of autism can be significantly reduced, or even prevented in some cases. This presentation will discuss the state of the science and future directions in early detection and intervention, with a focus on the infant-toddler period.
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