One-year-olds who do not respond when their name is called may be more likely to be diagnosed with autism at age two than other children, according to US researchers.
They suggest the simple test could help health visitors in the early identification of children with autism and other developmental disorders.
They compared responses among 147 one-year-old infants when their name was called. Three-quarters of those who did not respond were identified with developmental problems at age two.
The authors said: 'Since this task is easy to administer and score and takes few resources, it could be incorporated into well-child paediatric visits at 12 months of age.'
They added: 'It will not, however, identify all children at risk for developmental problems.'
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (2007)161: 378-83