Study Links Premature Babies To Autism - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Study Links Premature Babies To Autism

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CHICAGO, Illinois - A new study shows extremely premature babies may be at a higher risk for developing symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

A Canadian study involving 91 children born prematurely shows 25% had signs of autism in early screening tests.

The study doesn't claim premature birth causes autism, but it said it may be one of the contributing factors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all parents should screen their children for autism by age two.

"Early intervention makes all the difference in the world for our children and the sooner we're able to get in and to teach our children the basic skills the better they will do as they become adults," said Carrie-Ann Cordes, Family Resources Coordinator, The Arc of the Tri-Cities. 

Right now autism testing is not available in the Tri-Cities. However, the Benton Franklin Children's Developmental Center is working on putting an autism screening team together.

If you'd like to learn more about autism, Saturday, April 5th the Bethel Church in Richland is putting on an autism awareness fair.  It runs from Noon to 4 p.m. It's located at 600 Shockley Road, just off of Keene.