This Eye Test Could Diagnose Autism

Monitoring how young children’s pupils respond to light could potentially be used to screen for autism.


Diagnosing autism can be difficult, especially in young children who haven’t yet learned to speak. A recent EurekAlert! article discussed a new study conducted at Washington State University that could pave the way for an easier method of screening. The test involves measuring a person’s pupillary light reflex, or how their pupils change when exposed to light.

The proof-of-concept study is the continuation of earlier work in an effort to establish a quick and easy way for diagnosing autism. Early intervention is more likely to benefit children with autism because it could mean the difference between them acquiring verbal speech and remaining nonverbal.