Researchers have made a discovery that could help doctors start treating children with autism at a very early age.
Using a video of a stick figure outlined by points of light, researchers found most toddlers were fascinated with the figure's movement, gestures and facial expressions. Kids with autism only paid attention when the figure started clapping its hands while playing pat-a-cake.
Researchers say autistic children tend to be preoccupied with moving things that make sounds like a ball dropping or, in this case, a person clapping. This is something that can be detected in infancy, meaning treatment may start very early.