Researchers report that a simple test of calling a child’s name could reveal if they are likely to suffer from autism and other developmental problems. Those babies who do not respond to their name being called at the age of one are more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Most parents who express concerns before the child turns one are usually not taken seriously and children are not diagnosed until the ages of three or four.

Getting diagnosis at earlier age offers the possibility of early intervention and may improve the child’s prospects.
British scientists found last year that the true scale of childhood autism is far higher than previously thought - affecting more than one in 100 children.

In their last study, the researchers compared high-risk infants whose older siblings had autism with control infants not at high risk. All the children from the control group responded while 14% from the risk group didn’t.
The children were followed for the next two years. Three out of four of those who did not respond to their name at the age of one were identified as having developmental problems a year later. Those children who haven’t been found to have any developmental problems were those who responded to their name calling. Of the children later diagnosed with autism, half failed the test at one year, and of those with any kind of developmental delay, 39 % failed the test.

Researchers advised parents not to worry if their child "fails" the name test at home. The test is not conclusive and may not be an obvious indicator for all children with autism. It is just one of the warning signs while there could be other explanations as well.