Neuroscientist Mayada Elsabbagh has spent her career unravelling the mysteries of the infant brain. She studies neural pathways. She uses high-tech sensors and infrared eye-trackers to examine the differences in babies’ brain signals when they gaze at a face or a rubber ball. The assistant professor at McGill University in Montreal has a PhD and a long list of credentials and cutting-edge studies to her name. Yet Elsabbagh cannot get her head around the disconnect she faces every day as an autism researcher. As she works to uncover the first silent signals that can identify children with autism at an earlier age, she knows there are scarce resources to deal with the growing numbers already diagnosed. What’s the point of diagnosing earlier if there is little help for those children already identified on the autism spectrum?
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