Could a baby's cry give clues to autism?

New research suggests early signs of autism

BALTIMORE - Usually a parent learns to recognize whether their baby is tired, hungry or cold based on their cries.  New research suggests the sounds infants make when they cry could offer insight into the likelihood that they'll later be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

According to Health Day News, in previous studies, researchers looked at the cries of 1-year-old babies and found that the sounds made by infants who were later diagnosed with autism were more likely to be a bit different than typically developing babies.  

The new study examined recordings of the crying of two groups: 21 babies aged 6 months who were at higher risk of autism spectrum disorders because they have siblings diagnosed with them, and 18 other babies considered to be at low risk. Computers analyzed the acoustics of the recordings.  

The babies at high risk cried at a higher pitch, and there was another subtle difference that had to do with a kind of background noise in the cry.

Researchers say this new information is a start, but more studies need to be done.

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