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Tracking babies’ eyes, scientists find early signs of autism

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LOS ANGELES — Children with autism spectrum disorders usually aren’t diagnosed until they are at least 2 years old, but a new study finds that signs of the condition are apparent as early as two months after birth.

Researchers focused on babies’ ability to make eye contact with caregivers, since lack of eye contact is one of the hallmarks of autism. Among typical children, interest in the eyes increased steadily with age. But for children with autism, interest in the eyes waned starting between 2 and 6 months of age.

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