Autism is a condition where early intervention is thought to be very important. To this end, researchers have developed a device called LENA (Language Environment Analysis) to help detect autism early.
This is an automated vocal analysis system that helps to detect autism among children zeroing in on the differences in speech of toddlers.
Children with autism pronounce certain syllables of certain words differently from their peers who are developing more typically.
The ability of children to produce well-formed syllables with rapid movements of the jaw and tongue during vocalization is an important point of differentiation between children with autism and those without autism.
The system is thought to have 86% accuracy in detection of the autism disorder. Children who have language delay can also be differentiated by the automated vocal analysis.
Early detection of autism is very important – since early diagnosis means that treatment can also start early and consequently there can be a dramatic difference that is made to a child’s development.
Ordinarily, detection of autism is difficult and the diagnosis is made only later, by which time much of the damage has already occurred. This technology will help pediatricians detect autism early and help a child get effective and early treatment.