Some exciting new research recently came out of Children's Hospital of Boston (one of the best Children's Hospitals in the country) which offers hope that doctors will one day diagnose autism more reliably, affordably and rapidly (see http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/22/brain-scans-may-someday-detect-autism/?hpt=C2). While the results of the research are preliminary, there is no doubt that the days of using brain images and brain activity to diagnose Autism will be soon upon us. Results from another recent study in England indicate that scientists could reliably diagnose Autism in adults males by measuring the patient's brain images.
The diagnostic process in Autism is key, especially since we know that early detection of the illness leads to better outcomes. If you suspect that your child or anyone you care about may have Autism, encourage them to have testing-you could make a huge difference in that child's life!