Most of the time, when babies cry, parents simply attribute it to them being hungry, tired or having a dirty diaper. However, scientists from Providence, Rhode Island, have discovered that an infant's sob may be linked to a serious condition: autism.
Researchers from Brown Alpert Medical School's Women & Infants Hospital studied 39 babies who were 6-months old. Twenty-one of them were at risk for autism as their older siblings were diagnosed with the developmental disorder. The other infants were healthy and did not have a family history of autism. What analysts found concluded was fascinating.
The infants who were were more likely to be diagnosed with the condition had a higher-pitched cry and it also tended to vary in tones than the other 18 newborns who were at less of a risk for autism. However, it's important to keep in mind that scientists observed this trend only when a child was crying out of pain, such as when he bumped his head.
After the initial part of the study was over, scientists re-evaluated the participants when they were 3 years old. They found that three of the babies with higher-pitched cries were diagnosed with the disorder.
Scientists say that these results don't mean that parents should be leaning over their lovebugs' cribs analyzing every sound they make, but the information is useful in helping analysts identify factors that may be precursors to autism before any behavioral problems emerge.
"The earlier we can intervene, the more long-term changes we can make to the benefit of the child," Stephen Sheinkopf, a study researcher said in a statement.
Before you start worrying that your baby doesn't sound normal when he is upset, more work has to be conducted by medical professionals. If you have any questions about how your infant is developing, don't delay. Make an appointment with a pediatrician today.