An autistic and a normal child have dissimilar ways of smelling things, a new study has discovered. According to the research, parents can accurately detect autism early with the way their child smells different aromas. The scientists have found that children with autism do not change their smelling habits, even though what they sniff is unpleasant.
Non-Verbal Test for Early Autism Detection
Upon discovering that autistic children continue sniffing the same way whether they smell something good or bad, this test can be used to detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) earlier in younger kids. According to Noam Sobel, one of the researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, there is a huge difference in sniffing pattern between normal children and those with ASD.
There is already early evidence from previous studies that showed people with autism have problems with their internal action models, which mean that the templates in our brain do not coordinate well with the actions and senses. Although it remains unclear whether the issues with internal action models will show up in the sniff test, the response of the autistic child with some stimuli can be overwhelming.
How the Test Took Place
Sobel, along with other colleagues, studied almost 20 children with autism spectrum disorder. There was another group with the same number of children who also underwent the evaluation, but they are regarded as normally developing youngsters. They were all given the test in which they were presented with pleasant and unpleasant smells. The scientists measured the sniff response of the children and the normal ones averaged 305 milliseconds when they smell bad odor. On the other hand, those who have ASD did not have any kind of response with the unpleasant smell.
According to the authors of the study, the difference in the children’s response is already enough to tell whether or not the kid has ASD. They believe the diagnosis is 81% correct. The researchers also noticed that during the sniff test, the children who have severe autism symptoms tend to sniff aberrantly. This showed in children with autism based on social impairments, but not those with motor problems.
This is a helpful study that can help parents diagnose their child’s ASD early. The researchers believe that the test can be useful in clinics. It is possible to detect autism as well as how severe it is using the test in just 10 minutes or less.