Developmental brain disorders such as autism are currently diagnosed by observing mental and behavioural abnormalities in children such as impaired memory and delayed language development – but this could soon be a method of the past.
According to researchers at Melbourne's Australian Neuroscience Society meeting, genetic screening at birth may help to determine a child's risk of developing mental illness in later life.
The researchers have developed an analytical tool that predicts the disease which will emerge from a "certain combination of genes".
This early diagnosis would help interventions such as speech therapy to start earlier in life, with these programs shown to "significantly improve" learning outcomes in children.
Researchers are hoping to develop a tool as a part of the proposed Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and if approved by the federal government, it will have access to over $100 million in funding.
You can take action to help take care of your children's wellbeing with a health insurance plan.
There are a number of different policies available, with family health insurance one option that can help to look after the medical needs of your loved ones.