Infants who make less eye contact between the ages of 2 months and 6 months could be demonstrating early signs of autism, according to a study published Wednesday. Researchers found that babies in that age range who made less eye contact than other infants showed declining attention to adults’ eyes over time and were more likely to be diagnosed with autism later.
In their study of 110 infants using eye-tracking equipment, researchers atMarcus Autism Center, were expecting to detect autism as early as birth, but instead found no difference in eye contact among the youngest infants. Following the children until the age of 3, researchers began to notice a change a couple of months after birth.
"We found a steady decline in attention to other people’s eyes, from two until 24 months, in infants later diagnosed with autism," co-investigator and director of Marcus Autism Center, Ami Klin said, according to apress release. Children without the disorder did not lose attention on eye contact.