British scientists have revealed details of a new test which could diagnose autism in children in just 15 minutes.
More than 500,000 people in Britain have the developmental disorder.
At the moment, diagnosis can be time-consuming, expensive and delay children from receiving the right help and support.
The new technique uses a form of brain scan. In trials on adults, it has already proved to be 90% accurate.
The method is far quicker than conventional ways of identifying autism, and up to 20 times more cost effective.
In two years’ time, it could start to revolutionise how psychiatrists diagnose the disorder.
This is currently done by observing behavioural traits using a number of tests.
The process can take a whole day, involve an entire team of clinicians, and cost as much as £2,000.