SYRACUSE, New York (CNN Newsource) – Early diagnosis and intervention can really make a difference when it comes to autism. A group of researchers in upstate New York is hopeful a new saliva test aimed at toddlers will help doctors do that.
Their lab is designed to detect autism in samples of saliva — a much faster way to a diagnosis.
“Without requiring a thorough behavioral assessment that could take a year-and-a-half to two years to get an appointment to perform,” Dr. Frank Middleton said.
He’s been behind the research since it started six years ago.
It’s still ongoing but the need was so high. The company Quadrant Biosciences released the test last month, giving more children access to it now.
“Our whole goal with Clarify SD is to change the average age of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder from the fifth year of life to, hopefully, the second or third year of life,” Richard Uhling said.
“Early detection and early intervention is the deciding factor,” Middleton said.
He said studies show if early intervention is initiated, almost half the children will be indistinguishable from their peers by second grade.
“That doesn’t have to be one that has a downward trajectory. It’s one that with the right support, with the right intervention, with the right behavioral therapies in place, can be a very positive one.”
The research is in its final stage of development right now and they’re looking for more children between 18 months and 4 years old to be part of the research at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. You can fill out a form on the university’s website to learn more.