Brain responses in young children with autism may help predict their future cognitive skills, according to a recent study. Researchers hope the information can be used to someday detect the disorder in children younger than 2. "We've shown that the brain's indicator of word learning in 2-year-olds already diagnosed with autism predicts their eventual skills on a broad set of cognitive and linguistic abilities and adaptive behaviors," said the study's lead author, Patricia Kuhl of the University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences.

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