Rapid Early Childhood Growth May Be Linked to Autism

Author: mom_to_one, 10 18th, 2011

A small study out of Yale University has found that baby boys with autism grew taller, weighed more and had a more pronounced head circumference growth by age one than those baby boys without autism. The study’s lead author said, “…atypical overgrowth in autism is accompanied by a similar slope for overgrowth in height and weight.” This indicates that there is a relation between the mechanisms behind rapid brain growth in autistic children and broader neuronal and musculoskeletal abnormalities.

This piece of autism news isn’t exactly ground breaking; in 2003 researchers from UCSD published a study showing a correlation between autism development and rapid growth in the first year of life. This study also does not draw the conclusion that all children who experience abnormally rapid growth in the first year of life have autism. What the study does suggest is that this growth may be an indicator, so if parents notice other unusual behavior coupled with the growth they should consult a doctor to have a behavioral screen administered. After all, the earlier autism is diagnosed and treated with therapy, the better the outcome for the child socially.

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