Early Autism Sweden (EASE) is a collaboration between leading research groups in Sweden which aims at understanding the early development of children who later develop neurodevelopmental disorders, primarily autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Despite years of intensive research, many important questions about ASD remain unanswered. For example, very little is known about how ASD is expressed and develops during the first year of life, that is, before it is possible to diagnose ASD with current methods. To gain new knowledge about the characteristics of very young children who later receive an ASD diagnosis is a prerequisite for these children to get the right treatment and training as early as possible in the future. Such knowledge can also provide valuable insight into the aspects of social and non-social functions that are different in children with ASD.
We are currently recruiting babies for Sweden's first major study of very young siblings of children with ASD. The baby sibling will be examined repeatedly by using many different methods. We will assess the child’s ability to use language, the ability to solve problems and how he or she interacts and communicates with others. We will also measure the baby’s eye movements when she/he is looking at other people using a very precise technique. We are also able to measure the child's brain activity with a new method developed for very young children. All tests are being done in a playful and relaxed manner.