Study: there may be a way to better identify autism severity

by May 26, 2014Frequently Asked Questions

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Child autism can vary quite a bit in severity. Determining how severe a child’s autism is as early as possible can be quite important, as it can help a child promptly get the therapies best suited for their particular situation. Unfortunately, there are currently challenges when it comes to making early identifications of the severity of a child’s autism.

A recent study indicates that there may be a way to more effectively test for autism severity among children.

The study’s subjects were 43 kids. All of these children had autism. The age-range of the children was 6 to 17.

In the study, researchers took electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of the children while they gave the kids a reaction test. In the test, the children were presented with sounds and images and were told to press a button when they saw an image, heard a tone or had both occur.

The researchers then compared the children’s reaction times during the test with how pronounced their autism symptoms were. The researchers found that, generally, the longer a child’s reaction times were to sounds alone and sounds and images together, the more pronounced their autism symptoms were. The researchers found no association between reaction time lengths to images alone and autism severity.

Thus, it appears there could be a connection between autism severity and brain response times to certain types of stimuli.

The lead researcher of this study is hopeful that the findings from this study could perhaps help contribute to the development of an objective test for autism severity among children.

For a family with a child with autism, one of their highest priorities is generally to get their child the care they need. Autism therapies and care can be expensive, particularly for severe autism. This can present difficulties for families of children with autism, particularly if the family is low-income. One thing low-income families with children with severe autism may want to have an attorney look into for them is whether their child would have a valid claim for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Child autism sufferers may qualify for such benefits if their autism is severe enough and if their family’s income and resources fall below a certain level.

Source: Disability Scoop, “Study Points To More Reliable Autism Test,” Michelle Diament, Sept. 23, 2014