In this video, a re-uploaded clip of a segment from the show 60 Minutes, the rising numbers of autism diagnoses are examined, and the efforts by behavioral scientists to identify the early signs of autism are highlighted. At the time of the segment, most children with autism were left undiagnosed until they were five years old, but the scientists were working to develop criteria for an earlier diagnosis in order to be able to provide early intervention therapies.
The video follows several children involved in autism screenings and therapies, and notes the difficulties in identifying autism in children who are younger than two years old. For instance, one sign that can indicate that a child has autism is a lack of eye contact during interactions with other individuals, but this can also be present in other young children who do not have autism.
Additionally, the epidemiologist Dr. Steven Johnson, joins the program to debate common misunderstandings about autism, including that it is more prevalent than it was in the past, and that vaccines cause autism (a claim which he studied and found no evidence for)
By: Mirela Magh
Initial Air Date: Mar 21, 2011