UC-Davis study reveals age when autism appears

The signs of autism are not present at at 6 months but show up gradually later in an infant's first year, a UC Davis study reveals.

Contrary to what autism experts once thought, signs of the disorder appear later in an infant's first year of life. Most babies are born apparently normal before a gradual decline begins between 6 and 12 months of age, the study done at the UC Davis MIND Institute and UCLA shows.

A lack of eye contact, smiling or babbling are signs of autism, and researchers focused on those developmental markers during examinations in a five-year period. They concluded that autism's symptoms are not evident in children under 6 months.

The study showed that by one year, social and communication behavior of autistic children had dramatically deteriorated.

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