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Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 12:53pm

Ga. Tech Wins $10M Grant To Study Autism

Georgia Tech is leading a team of universities that received a $10 million federal grant to develop a computerized early warning system for young children who have autism.

The five-year National Science Foundation award will go to researchers designing a tool that would use cameras, microphones, and on-body sensors to identify symptoms of autism in children.

Georgia Tech researcher Rosa Arriaga says she’s working on a behavioral screening instrument that would test for autism in just three to five minutes.

“The NSF grant is really to go where science hasn’t gone before… to scope out a new area that can be advanced via computing," Arriaga says. "We could have a way of screening many, many more children whereas now we need an expert.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants be screened for autism at 18 months of age, but most aren’t diagnosed until the age of 4.