By: Krystle Crossman
Autism is a tough disorder to diagnose. There are so many different variables and complexities that require the patient to be subjected to multiple tests that will look at every aspect of their behavior, their personality, their development, and their health. Even then it is hard to diagnose autism due to how many variables there are to cover. Medicine is on the verge of some pretty great testing methods that could be much more accurate that what we currently have. Here are some of those methods that they are working on right now:
1. Brain Imaging: This is one of the more expensive tests that would not be easily accessible to many due to the fact that the machines are so large and not found in a doctor’s office. It maps out the brain to look at the different pathways and how the synapses are firing to see if there is anything that is abnormal. Boston Children’s Hospital sees a possibility that EEG’s will be able to help detect autism as soon as the age of 2.
2. Eye Tracking: One of the common signs that autism may be present is a lack of eye contact. Children with autism generally do not look people in the eye. Eye tracking is a way to measure the length of time that a child will look into your eyes, if at all. They are still developing a more streamlined technology to bring this into a clinical setting.
3. Online Testing: Although online tests are nothing new they can be very helpful to place a starting point for the diagnosis. The questionnaires are easy to fill out and can help doctors get a better sense of some of the signs that the patient may be exhibiting even before they go to see the doctor.
4. Blood Testing: Blood tests are not the most accurate to predict a risk for a child developing autism down the road, but they can be helpful. There is a company that is developing a test currently that will look at a person’s RNA to determine if there is a risk as genetics possibly play a large role in the chances of having autism.