A simple iPad game could reveal if your child has autism, researchers have found.

It was discovered that the way in which kids play on the tablet can be telling when it comes to the condition – with those with it tending to use greater force and moving their finger differently.

It is now hoped the discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis as well as treatment.

Dr Jonathan Delafield-Butt, with the University of Strathclyde, said: “This is potentially a major breakthrough for early identification of autism, because no stressful and expensive tests by clinicians are needed.

“This new ‘serious game’ assessment offers a cheaper, faster, fun way of testing for autism.

“But more work is needed to confirm this finding and to test for its limitations.”

On a tablet, children with autism played games that were able to measure their movements and gestures, it was revealed they used greater force and with a different distribution than those who develop typically.

The research was carried out as collaboration between the University of Strathclyde and colleagues at the start-up Harimata – who believe that using fun iPad games to track players’ hand movements is less intrusive way to diagnose autism.

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