2008-04-02 Study Finds One-Quarter of Very Premature Babies Show Early Signs of Autism

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,344889,00.html

A small study of toddlers finds that about one-quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test.

The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn't done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought.

That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal and Children's Hospital in Boston.(Read entire article)

2008-04-02 Very Premature Babies Show Raised Risk for Autism

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/02/AR2008040201088.html

Two new studies shed additional light on two different aspects of autism: One tried to pinpoint a risk factor for development of the disorder, while the other looked at the financial toll that having an autistic child takes on a family.

Both studies were expected to be published in the April issue ofPediatricsand were released early in honor of World Autism Day on April 2.

The first looked for early autistic behaviors, though not specifically for a diagnosis of autism, in premature infants who were born at a very low birth weight -- about 3.3 pounds -- and found that several factors associated with these early births were linked to a positive result on an autism screening test.(Read entire article)