Differences in autism brain development in children as young as six months have been identified by researchers at the University of North Carolina.
A study has recorded disparities in brain communication pathways in babies as young as six months who go on to develop autism spectrum disorder.
The discovery is a promising indication that autism can be identified long before behavioural symptoms become evident.
Early intervention is vital in patients with autism and can prevent the manifestation of certain symptoms and mediate common problems associated with the condition.
The discovery was made when Dr Joe Piven and his colleagues began to investigate early brain and behavioural development in 92 infants with siblings on the autistic spectrum.
Co-author Dr Geri Dawson commented: "The goal is to intervene as early as possible to prevent or reduce the onset of disabling symptoms."
Dr Brooke Ingersoll of Michigan State University previously stated in 2010 that intervention prior to a child's first birthday could even stop them developing autism.
Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.