The Ethics of Predicting Autism Spectrum Disorder in Infancy

Katherine E. MacDuffie, Annette M. Estes, Holly L. Peay, John R. Pruett, Benjamin S. Wilfond

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

6 Scopus citations


Toward the end of a routine check-in appointment with your young patient—a 3-year-old boy recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—his mother shares concerns about his infant sister, currently 6 months old. The mother is aware that her daughter is at increased risk for ASD. She requests a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of her infant's brain, based on research she has read showing that MRI can be used to predict which infants will go on to develop ASD. The mother communicates that she is eager to know whether her daughter is going to develop autism so that she and her husband can prepare financially, and so she can place her daughter on the long waitlist for autism-specific services in her local community. As this family's psychiatrist, how should you respond to her request?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-945
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'The Ethics of Predicting Autism Spectrum Disorder in Infancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this