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Hanna Alonim, Speaker at Neonatology Conferences
The Mifne Center for Treatment Research and Training, Israel


The worldwide prevalence of autism points out of 2% of the population.  Clinicians and researchers increasingly realize the importance of early intervention for autism. Very early intervention may minimize the severity of the phenotypic presentation of autism during infancy when neural connections are being developed. However, intervention is contingent upon a diagnosis of autism – which in most developed countries occurs above the age of 24 months – resulting in missing a critical therapeutic opportunity for early intervention. This study aimed to detect the prodromal variables at a very early stages during the first year of life, that may characterize significant risk for the later development of autism, in order to propose therapeutic strategies during this window of opportunities. The study examined 110 infants from various countries diagnosed with autism at age 2-3 years. Analysis was conducted of home videos recorded during the infants' first year of life. Data was collated and analysed in terms of individual variables and combinations of variables. Eight prodromal variables were exhibited among 89% of the infants participating in this study. Cluster analysis of combinations of variables was significant. The results of this study indicate that detecting the prodrome of autism depends primarily on the ability to identify various combinations of indicative symptoms. The variables elicited by this study provide the basis for an early assessment scale for prodromal variables associated with autism.


Dr. Hanna A. Alonim, Ph.D in Mental Health is an expert and researcher in the autism spectrum in infancy. Founder and Head of the Mifne Center, for Treatment, Training, and Research, since 1987. Head of the Therapists’ Training School for Autism at the Bar Ilan University. She developed the ESPASSI © screening scale for the detection of the autism prodrome in first year of life. Dr. Alonim is a committee member of the ICF Core Set for ASD, Stockholm 2016.