Scientists in America have potentially found a link between low birth-weight babies and autism.
In a 27 year study of 862 low birth-weight (less than 4lb) babies born in New Jersey, researchers monitored the progress of the children from birth to 21.
Five per cent of the children were diagnosed with autism, compared to 1.
Jennifer Pinto-Martin, professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and director of the autism centre who conducted the research said: "Cognitive problems in these children may mask underlying autism.
"If there is suspicion of autism or a positive screening test for ASD, parents should seek an evaluation for an ASD. Early intervention improves long-term outcome and can help these children both at school and at home."
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