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Husband-and-wife researchers present for the lay reader intriguing results from two decades of close observation and early detection of autism and Asperger's syndrome in babies. Instead of relying on language deficits and socialization to identify these developmental disorders, which has been the traditional approach by doctors, delaying detection and thus treatment to two years and older, this team reasoned from watching videos concerned parents made of their infants that atypical movement patterns signaling autism were apparent within the first year. While a typical baby achieves milestones of righting himself, crawling, sitting and walking through specific movements, the autistic child's "ladder of motor development" progresses differently, for example, in asymmetrical positions, lagging reflexes or impaired sense of balance. Each chapter defines what is typical and what is problematic, what parents can do to stimulate growth and how to seek help. The authors emphasize the importance of keeping records and offer a "Observation Journal" for the infant's caregiver, as well as numerous pages of resources. Nonsexist, reasoned if somewhat urgent in tone, this work, which is sure to be controversial, aims to turn the caregiver's intuition into positive, early action. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.