Brain, behavior distinguish autism from language delay

Babies with autism show behavioral and brain features that differ from those of babies with language delay1. These findings from a new study hint at different biological origins for autism and language delay.

The results, based partly on brain scans, could help clinicians identify and treat subgroups of children with language problems.

“The diagnoses we use in clinical practice today are entirely based on behavioral observations and lack any grounding in the underlying biology,” says lead investigator Joseph Piven, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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