LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A children’s neurologist at UCLA is testing kids with autism who enrolled in a 90-Day Intervention Program to learn more about how their minds work.

Dr. Shafali Jeste says one of the main requirements for an autism diagnosis is language impairment; kids struggle to follow commands or answer questions.  Using her methodology, a cap covered with electrodes is fitted snugly on 4 ½- year-old Michael Naderi’s head and Jeste is able to scan when he sees objects, pattern and faces.

“What we can do by putting a net on a kids head is look at their brain activity.  We can say, what is the brain doing to process that face or what is the brain doing to understand that pattern,” says Jeste.

Michael is shown three pairs of shapes, over and over.  Then after a while, one that’s different is flashed on the screen.  If Michael has learned the patterns, there’s a spike in his brain activity. His brain is surprised there’s a different pair.  If he hasn’t learned them, there will be no spike.

The idea of Dr. Jeste’s research will not only help to improve treatment for kids with autism, but also assist in early diagnosis.  Jeste hopes to detect markers for autism in children as young as six months so that treatment can be started that early and change that child’s outcome or even prevent them from getting autism altogether.

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Comments (6)
  1. Marc Ferguson says:

    What a difference the program has made for my nephew. Thank you to UCLA. Michael has made huge improvements!

  2. Marla Carbonell says:

    is there a way to sign up for this program ?i have 2 children in mind, we live close by and didn’t hear about this research before. thank you.

  3. Christy Naderi says:

    you can check out the intervention program that Michael went to at http://www.semel.ucla.edu/ecphp. Go to Contact Us, and call the number. Alice or Julie can tell you all about how to get on the waiting list. It’s for kids age 2-6 of various levels of the spectrum. It was the BEST thing I could have ever done for Michael. Good luck!
    – Christy (Michael’s mom)

  4. Claudia Fernandes says:

    My insurance doesn’t cover autism, how much does a program like this run? My son is going to be 3 in August and is currently receiving 17 hrs a week of therapy, but at 3 is going to transition into the pre school program. I am exploring my options…

  5. Christy Naderi says:

    Claudia – Don’t be so sure that your insurance won’t cover autism. They will tell you that at first, but there are parity laws and legal cases that can make them cover it. Please read my 3-part blog article of how I overturned Michael’s insurance denial for the UCLA program here: http://justanothermotherwarrior.blogspot.com/2011/01/when-aetna-said-no.html
    here: http://justanothermotherwarrior.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-battle-with-aetna-began-3000-miles.html
    and here: http://justanothermotherwarrior.blogspot.com/2011/02/appeal-letters-phone-calls-and-gate-27.html
    Good Luck!

  6. Autism prevalence says:

    Being a mother of a child for the autism spectrum now an expert in the autism industry, i will be continuously struck because when small the actual “professionals ” and the “determination …autism

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