Very premature babies may be more likely to score positive on a checklist that screens for autism spectrum disorder.
The study included nearly one thousand babies who were born at least 3 months before their due date. They were found to be more likely to have a positive score on screening tool for autism as toddlers. A positive score does not mean the child has autism, rather, the risk for autism is greater.
Much more research needs to be done before any direct links are made between prematurity and autism.