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The biological causes of autism are still not understood. A diagnosis of autism is only possible after ages three or four; and the tests are subjective, based on behavioral symptoms.
By scanning the brain activity of sleeping children, the scientists discovered that the autistic brains exhibited significantly weaker synchronization between brain areas tied to language and communication, compared to that of non-autistic children.
“Identifying biological signs of autism has been a major goal for many scientists around the world, both because they may allow early diagnosis, and because they can provide researchers with important clues about the causes and development of the disorder,”