Two interesting pieces of research on autism were released in the past week, and hopefully they will help more people with autism to get the right support more quickly. Firstly, a new report, 'Estimating the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Conditions in Adults: Extending the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey', by researchers at the University of Leicester and published by the NHS Information Centre, found a much higher prevalence of autism in adults with a severe learning disability than had been previously thought. This group were also previously 'invisible' to services because they were cared for at home by relatives. In addition, research published in the journal Current Biology found that autism could be detected in babies. Currently, children with autism are usually diagnosed in early childhood, but researchers found that babies who go on to develop autism show different brain responses when someone looks at them or away from them in the first year of life. While the researchers were keen to point out that further research is needed and that the method used is not always accurate - some babies who showed different brain responses did not go on to develop autism - it does give hope that earlier diagnoses of autism may be possible in the future. Both these reports improve our understanding of the condition and should help to identify more people with autism. This can only be a good thing; the earlier someone is identified with a condition on the autism spectrum the better, because then they can get the appropriate interventions that can help them to realise their full potential. Reports like these should also help commissioners of services, who will be better able to judge - and plan for - the right level of autism-related provision . While more research needs to be conducted - especially in regard to the condition in babies - it shows that our understanding of autism is growing, and as a result, diagnosis, treatment and, most importantly, the lives of people with autism, should all see real improvement.