A college student has invented an app for early Autism detection, which can be used by parents to screen their children for early signs of autism spectrum disorder.

Soft SkillsKun Woo Cho of the State University of New York at Buffalo partnered with a group of researchers who sought to determine detection tools in a study that would help in identifying autism in very young children, as young as two years old.  The authors believe that early detection is critical for developing treatment, and the study focused on the development of a program for use on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

“The brain continues to grow and develop after birth. The earlier the diagnosis, the better,” assistant pediatrics professor Michelle Hartley-McAndrew said. “Then we can inform families and begin therapies which will improve symptoms and outcome.”

The app tracks children’s eye movements when they are looking at pictures of social settings.  Researchers say that children with ASD process images differently from other children, as the children without ASD tend to be more focused.

“We speculate that it is due to their lack of ability to interpret and understand the relationship depicted in the social scene,” Cho explained.

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