This is pretty interesting as the child wears the device for a day and the information is sent back to the Lena Foundation for review. Many cases of autism are diagnosed later in life and this appears to give everyone a heads up so perhaps pro-active treatments and counseling can be started a lot sooner. According to the article, accuracy is listed at 91%. This is nice to see more being done to detect autism and give everyone a heads up running start. BD
Researchers have developed a device that can automatically identify autistic children as young as 24 months using the vocalizations they make during a normal day at home. Instead of waiting months or years for an appointment with a specialist, parents could get an objective diagnosis by mail in a couple of weeks.
According to a recent study from researchers at the University of Washington in St. Louis, the average age of diagnosis for autism is 5.7 years old -- several years after such a diagnosis is first possible. With the new system, developed at the LENA Foundation, diagnosis takes just a few weeks. "Intervention is most effective when the child is two to four years old," says Jill Gilkerson, director of child language research at the LENA Foundation.
While the level of accuracy achieved by LENABaby is high, researchers at the foundation are investigating ways of making the tool even better at diagnosing children. The team is also adapting the tool for use with younger children.