Cartoons Could Help Diagnose Autism in Kids

Study finds differences in how autistic toddlers look at moving images
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2009 10:18 AM CDT
Jennifer Aldrich, a educator trained in autism with the Warwick, R.I., school department, works with a student. New advances have raised hopes for better treatment for autism.   (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
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(Newser) – The way in which toddlers are drawn to animated movement may help facilitate the diagnosis of autism-spectrum disorders, reports the BBC. In the study, children who were developing normally focused on the half of a split-screen that featured an upright animation; children with signs of autism showed no preference between that and an upside-down version, unless the upright cartoon was paired with sound. The findings could also lead to new treatment methods.